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HSBC Trojan warning tracked down as false alarm

Kaspersky blushes abound after bank site misfire

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Updated A false alert left users of Kaspersky's internet security software fearing there was malware on HSBC's website last weekend.

Users of Kaspersky Internet Security logging onto HSBC's Personal Internet Banking site were incorrectly informed that a malicious file containing the HTLM-Agent-CE Trojan had been loaded onto their systems. However the warning was only a false alarm which was "rectified quickly", according to a Kaspersky spokesman.

In a statement (below), the Russian security firm explained that the mistake arose on Friday and was quickly fixed, adding that it nonetheless apologised for any inconvenience or confusion arising from the incident.

On Friday 14th a scheduled update contained a false positive on the HSBC's UK internet Banking Website.

As soon as Kaspersky Lab was alerted to this fact it was fixed in a matter of minutes and posted to our update servers.

We are currently seeing around 30,000 new threats everyday and so on rare occasions a fix for one issue can have unintended consequences.

Kaspersky Lab takes this very seriously and has rigorous systems, processes and testing in place to avoid such a situation for our customers and partners. Kaspersky Lab apologises to HSBC and it's UK customers for the inconvenience caused.

False positives affect almost all security vendors from time to time. Normally incidents involve mistaking an application or, much worse, a system file for malware following a virus definition update. Mistaking legitimate scripts for something potentially malign is also possible, as the latest incident with Kaspersky and HSBC shows.

Other security firms we contacted on Monday morning said they hadn't seen anything malign on HSBC's website. ®

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