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Data breach

Hackers attempted to embezzle funds worth nearly $15 million from Bank of Valletta.

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On February 14, 2019, Malta-based Bank of Valletta (BOV) had to shut down its operations after hackers attempted to withdraw €13 million ($14.7 million) from its systems. All branches, ATMs, mobile banking, and email services were suspended, and the BOV website was taken offline.

BOV employees discovered that intruders had hacked their systems during daily reconciliation operations of international transfers. Thirty minutes after the detection, the bank closed its operations and fortified its systems. The hackers had attempted to transfer €13 million to different bank accounts in the UK, US, Czech Republic, and Hong Kong.

In a statement issued by the Prime Minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat reassured customers that their accounts and deposits were not compromised, and that the bank was working to resume normal services as soon as possible. The authorities were able to trace the transactions and reverse them. The bank subsequently brought in Malta's financial regulator, MFSA, and the National Cyber Security Committee to help with investigations.

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