Bank of Valletta has tracked the 11 hacked transactions made during Wednesday’s cyberattack on the bank, but they might not be able to retrieve all of the €13 million that was stolen.
“We know where the money went and into which banks but what happened at that touchpoint we do not have the visibility to know. It’s not simply a matter of asking the banks for the money to be reversed. It does not work like that and there are banking procedures that have to be implemented,” Kenneth Farrugia, the bank’s chief business development officer, said to the Times of Malta.
He reiterated that it wouldn’t be easy to return the money that had been transferred to other banks outside of Malta.
However, it was confirmed that client’s accounts and deposits were not affected in the attack – the €13 million was taken from a BOV general fund, a fund from which international transactions are taken from.
Mr Farrugia said that the bank was now focused on three main issues: recovering the stolen millions which foreign banks have now blocked; to confirm the source of the cyberattack, and to resume BOV’s international payment service.
It’s “still too early” to say how much money has been retrieved so far
Mr Farrugia reconfirmed that they were still working on who was behind the attack, which affected up to half of Malta’s entire economy.
“At this stage, we don’t know,” said Mr Farrugia. “There isn’t a yes or no answer because the entry points can be through various channels. You can have someone using a USB, someone who received an e-mail with malware in it, through internet banking, etc.”
“We have started eliminating by looking at audit logs to try and find out where this came from and what the entry point was. But we have yet to determine the source,” he said.
However, he was able to confirm that the attack was purely aimed at currency and money and did not impact any personal data belonging to BOV clients.
BOV suspended all of its services on Wednesday after it was informed by the national security services that it had fallen victim to a cyberattack
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said around €13 million had been transferred out of the bank via false international transactions that were intended for the UK, the USA, the Czech Republic and Hong Kong.