Phishing on a Digital Binary Warning Abstract

HSBC Phish: “Your account is currently locked!”

Customers of HSBC should avoid the following URL, which is (most likely) part of an email based phishing campaign. While we don’t have an example of an email to hand, we can certainly shine some light on the website itself which is


in the hopes of helping you to avoid a nasty surprise this holiday season.

Locked account?

The website reads as follows:

Dear customer,

Your account is currently locked!

We locked your account because we needed to draw your attention to the fact that you didn't complete our security online form for the year 2015.

This form expires today and we need you to finish the process right away.

They urge visitors to click next (because hey, that form expires today!) and continue with the process, which is little more than a straight lunge for payment information.

Don't enter card details

To be specific: Card number, expiration date, card verification code, and finally the ATM PIN number. After this, the victim is shown a “We’ll get back to you in 24 hours” message before being forwarded on to a HSBC website.

All done?

From a quick scan of various websites, it seems HSBC scams are all the rage right now [1], [2], [3], [4] so please be extra careful with your logins. Scammers are always looking for a way to grab some fast cash, and regardless of whether they approach you by email, SMS or phonecall, a generous helping of caution will work wonders where holding on to your card details is concerned.

Christopher Boyd


Christopher Boyd

Former Director of Research at FaceTime Security Labs. He has a very particular set of skills. Skills that make him a nightmare for threats like you.