HSBC said no customer details or bank accounts were at risk when a hacker broke into several of its websites on Tuesday night.
A HSBC spokesman told vnunet.com, which broke the story: "The home pages on four of our websites, in the UK, Spain and Greece and a subsidiary company, the British Arab Commercial Bank, were covered by a false web page this morning.
"The websites are public information websites managed by an external supplier and the false page was quickly removed. No customer transaction data was either accessed or affected.
"All our internet banking servers are in-house and protected by a much more robust level of security. We are currently in the process of bringing all our public information websites in-house, and expect to complete this process soon."
HSBC said the incident was "unfortunate and an embarrassment for us". The bank apologised for the temporary inconvenience to those who wished to access the websites affected, but said "no customer data was at risk at any time".
The design of HSBC's network security has been criticised by security experts, who said that other data may have been compromised during the attack. "It seems certain procedures at HSBC are a bit lax," said Paul Rogers, network security analyst at MIS Corporate Defence Solutions.
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