The Malta Independent 26 June 2022, Sunday

Watch: BOV hackers falsified €13 million in transactions – PM

Jeremy Micallef Wednesday, 13 February 2019, 17:36 Last update: about 4 years ago

The hack on Bank of Valletta (BOV) which compelled it to shut down its operations Wednesday morning falsified €13 million in transactions, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said this evening in Parliament.

Bank of Valletta on Wednesday morning was compelled to shut down its operations after the bank's systems fell victim to a hacking attempt.

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All of the bank's functions, including those at its branches, are currently suspended and its website is offline.

Addressing Parliament Wednesday afternoon, Muscat explained that the hackers falsified various transactions which transferred a total of €13 million to four different countries in Euros, American Dollars, and Sterling.

The countries in questions were the United Kingdom, America, Czech Republic and Hong Kong.

BOV are aware of the details of the bank accounts with which these transactions were connected, and they are being reversed.

Experts from the National Cyber Security Committee were called to assist in the investigations.

The bank realised it was being attacked before it was notified by internationally entities, and the system was shut down in less than 30 minutes, Muscat said, and answering questions from the Opposition Leader Adrian Delia's, this shows that there is robust system in place.

The Prime Minister clarified that there was an issue with the reconciliations of international transactions, that people's money was safe, and an internal inquiry will be undertaken.

He also made it a point to mention that he was making his statement as Prime Minister and in view of the bank's importance to the economy and not because the government is a shareholder.

Accounting for half of Malta's bank transactions, the ordeal has an impact on our economy both domestically and abroad dude to those making payments with credit cards.

Alternative arrangements are being made with said credit card companies to help the affected individuals.

Apart from credit card holders, the Prime Minister touched on the issue of social security recipents receiving payments on Thursday, noting that a plan was being devised by the Central Bank which would issue its own cheques if necessary.

As to the re-initiating of the system, the bank must be sure that the system was clean and that this problem did not re-appear.

Police investigations and a Magisterial inquiry are also underway.

Opposition Leader Adrian Delia, for his part, said that the attack on Bank of Valletta was an attack on Malta.

He asked whether there were structural weaknesses in the system used by BOV and whether there were any breaches of confidential information,

He said that the Opposition's priority was to safeguard the interests of the bank's clients and shareholders.

 


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