Photo (left): Chamber of Commerce
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat insisted no deposits have been impacted in any way as a result of today’s cyberattack on Bank of Valletta, which forced the bank to suspend all its operations.
Speaking in Parliament, Muscat said BOV’s management informed him that 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.
The bank realised there was a problem at the start of the business day during the daily reconciliation exercise of international transactions. Shortly afterwards, the Security Services confirmed with the bank that it had been the victim of “an extremely elaborate” cyberattack.
Within half an hour, BOV asked its correspondent banks in the four aforementioned countries to block the transactions and to reverse any payments that could have already been carried out.
“To minimise the possibility of further attacks, BOV decided to suspend its operations,” Muscat said. “The entire system is being examined, and the bank’s operations will go back online once it has been deemed to be fully secure.”
“My statement isn’t intended to replace future statements from BOV but to put people at ease that their deposits are safe and that the inconvenience they’re suffering now is ultimately intended to protect them,” he said. “I made it clear with the bank that while it is important that they hurry up as much as possible, their priority should be maintaining their security and integrity and safeguarding deposits.”