The chief of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Norman Chan Tak-lam, said big banks in the SAR will need a two-factor authentication for online stock trading within the next two months.
This came after eight e-banking accounts with the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp and BoC Hong Kong (2388) were hacked for trading equities worth HK$6.86 million last month.
Chan said in a Legislative Council meeting yesterday that the hacking risk will be reduced marginally after the measure to be applied to smaller banks later is in place.
The authority's deputy chief executive, Arthur Yuen Kwok-hang. said half of the unauthorized stock trades had resulted in losses that had been compensated by the banks.
On a related matter, IT sector legislator Charles Mok doubted the value of the Cybersecurity Fortification Initiative launched by the HKMA a week ago to assist with banks' risk evaluations and intelligence sharing.
That, he said, was because of a lack of input from the information technology sector.
On that, Chan said authorities will enhance their communications with the information technology industry.
He also said that under the initiative there will be a hiring of specialists from Britain to train people in cyber security in Hong Kong.
And responding to a claim of inefficiency in account opening for local start-ups, Chan said this was not the norm, but he promised to follow up with certain banks to work out streamlined measures to meet risk controls.