Content, Breach, EMEA, Europe

European Bank Cyberattack: Hackers Attempt $14.65 Million Theft

Bank of Valletta, which accounts for almost half of Malta’s banking transactions, shut down all of its operations on Wednesday after detecting a major cyberattack, Reuters reports.

Updated 7:10 a.m. ET, Thursday, February 14: The bank has resumed all services except payments to third parties. The bank reiterated that customer deposits and customer accounts were in not affected by this cyberattack, reports.

Updated 9:15 p.m. ET, Wednesday, February 13: Hackers created false international payments and transferred €13 million (US$14.65 million) to banks in four countries, Malta Prime Minister Joseph Muscat told parliament, according to Times of Malta. “That money did not come from the people’s money and the amounts have been traced and are being reversed,” Dr Muscat said in a statement, Times of Malta added.

The bank is headquartered in Malta, a small Mediterranean island between Sicily and the North African coast. Malta has been a European Union member since 2004.

The bank's website was offline for some or all of Wednesday, February 13, according to an MSSP Alert site check.

According to Wikipedia: Bank of Valletta (BOV) is a Maltese bank and financial services company headquartered in Santa Venera. As of 2014, the bank had 44 branches, six regional business centers, a head office, and a wealth management arm located around the Maltese Islands. It also has offices in Australia, Belgium, Libya and Italy.

MSSP Alert is striving to determine if this was an isolated attack or part of larger attack pattern. Stay tuned to updates on this story.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.