Two weeks after hackers tried to steal 13 million euros, Bank of Valletta goes offline again

Not a good look.

Graham Cluley
@gcluley

Two weeks ago, the Maltese Bank of Valletta (BOV) shut down all of its operations – closing all its branches, and disabling its ATMs, website, email, and mobile banking services – after hackers attempted to fraudulently transfer 13 million Euros to accounts based in the Czech Republic, UK, United States, and Hong Kong.

The shutdown also hit local businesses across Malta who were reliant on BOV point-of-sale equipment to process card payments.

So you can imagine the nervousness felt across the island today when they tried to use the BOV mobile app today, and saw this message:

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And when they weren’t able to check their bank accounts from their smartphones, some will have attempted to visit the BOV website this morning – only to find that that was also offline.

At the time of writing the Bank of Valletta website appears to be inaccessible, and there are reports that – just like last time – card payments cannot be processed.

The bank says it is attempting to resolve “internet connectivity issues”, and has asked clients who require urgent assistance are being told to call their branch, or to contact the Customer Care Centre on 21312020 or customercare@bov.com.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

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