Bank of Valletta shuts down after hackers transfer $14.7 million overseas

Hacker Attack on Bank. Photo by Etienne Martin on Unsplash
Hacker Attack on Bank. Photo by Etienne Martin on Unsplash

In one of the biggest hacking incidents across the world, funds from Bank of Valetta in Malta were transferred overseas. The bank, which accounts for almost half of country’s transactions, saw an attack by hackers who broke into its systems and transferred the money out of it.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat apprised the Parliament of the situation and said that the funds were traced and the bank is trying to get the transactions reversed. He told the Parliament that hackers made fraudulent payments worth $14.7 million to different banks in the US, Britain, Hong Kong, and the Czech Republic.

The bank found out discrepancies during reconciliation of international transactions on Wednesday morning. The security agencies also alerted the bank after they got information about a possible cyber attack. Following this, the bank suspended all operations, closed all the ATMs, and disabled the website.

PM Muscat stated that such an attack had impacted the economy and also created problems for credit card holders. However, he said, that the bank was working to resume its operations gradually and ensure that such an attack cannot be repeated. He also asserted that the depositors’ money remained untouched.“The money did not come from people’s (accounts) and the amounts have been traced,” Reuters quoted him as saying. The bank has also launched an internal inquiry to find out where the attack originated from.