Malta-based bank suffers cyberattack

Monday 18 February 2019 00:12 CET | News

Bank of Valletta, a financial institution based in Malta, had to shut down all of its operations after hackers broke into its systems and shifted funds overseas.

The cyber-attack involved the creation of false international payments totalling EUR 13 million to banks in Britain, the US, the Czech Republic and Hong Kong. The funds have been traced and the Bank of Valletta, which accounts for almost half of Malta’s banking transactions, is seeking to have the fraudulent transactions reversed.

The attack was detected soon after the start of business on February 13, 2018, when discrepancies were noticed during the reconciliation of international transactions. Shortly after, the bank was informed by state security services that it had received information from abroad that the company had been the target of a cyber-attack, according to Reuters.

To minimize risk and review its systems, the Bank of Valletta suspended operations, shuttering its branches on the Mediterranean island, closing ATMs and disabling its website. Also, alternative arrangements were being made with credit card companies to help those affected.

The bank told customers that their accounts and funds were “in no way impacted or compromised” and that it was working to resume normal services. The bank is also carrying out an internal review to establish where exactly the attack originated from and how it was instigated.

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Keywords: Bank of Valletta, cyberattack, fund transfers, online security, fraud prevention, ATMs, Malta
Countries: World

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