Cyber attack on Malta

Cyber Attack on Malta’s Biggest Bank

According to reports, Malta’s biggest bank, Bank of Valletta (BOV) was digitally attacked by hackers, who attempted to transfer €13 million of the bank’s money to different foreign accounts. The bank was forced to shut down its operations to make sure the hackers did not succeed in their efforts.

As the news broke, people became anxious to know whether their money was safe or not in the banks of Malta. There was quite a panic on Wednesday, the day of the incident.  

Prime Minister Joseph Musca said:

“The fraudulent transactions had been traced and were “being reversed.”

Spokesperson of Bank of Valletta added:

“The Bank of Valletta has apologized to its clients for any inconvenience caused and will be keeping its customers and the general public informed of developments.” Further added and ensured that customer’s funds “are in no way impacted or compromised” by the breach.

It seems like there was no loss of money but the incident rang alarm bells for cybersecurity experts across the world. It was quite daring of the attackers to try to hit Malta’s biggest bank systems and walk away with almost 13 million Euros.

The authorities are investigating the hacking incident and have not revealed any further information yet.

Cyber Threats in Europe – On a Rise

A simple glance at the recent history reveals that cyber-attacks in European countries are becoming common than ever, few of which are listed below:

– In Dec 2018,  European Communication system was compromised in an attempt of cyber hacking.

–  According to cybersecurity researchers, hackers used malware to attack the service provider for the UK government to gain access to contractors at various UK government departments and military organizations

–   The Norwegian Government admitted that an attempt was made to get unauthorized access to Norway’s Hospital System.

–   A global cyber attack was witnessed recently in the form of WannaCry ransomware that particularly shocked Europe. The attack affected 200,000 computers across 150 countries.

Opinion – 

Cyber Security experts should be more vigilant today than ever before. Hacking threats will increase with time unless proper precautions are taken timely. A strong defensive cyber-infrastructure, frequent security audits and pro-active approach with technological advancements can minimize the risk of a “cyber intrusion”.

The fight against cybercriminals is a global challenge. Countries, industries, professionals and the general public need to work together towards a secure and safer future.

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Shahrukh Ghanchi is cybersecurity enthusiast, media analyst and movie buff all rolled into one. Always scouring the web for news, industry experts and trends.

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