One of the largest banks in Malta, Bank of Valetta, fell prey to hackers. They stole over 13 million euros which affected both individuals and businesses.
Bank of Valetta prey to hackers
The hack occurred on February 14, according to the Times of Malta. Even though the Bank of Valletta is one of the oldest and largest banks on Malta, their security was not enough. They shut down all operations after the hackers moved 13 million euros to a foreign account. All of the bank’s functions, ATMs, mobile banking and even email services were suspended, and even their website went offline.
The fraudulent transaction was tranced and reversed by the bank according to the Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat. In a statement, the bank reassured customers that their accounts and funds are safe and that it was working to resume normal services.
“The Bank is working closely with local and international police authorities in this regard,” it said.
However, a week later clients still look to the bank for answers. Several clients told the Times of Malta that despite the bank resuming its services a day after, payments to third parties were still not processed. Some even end up without any money as a result. Meanwhile, a spokesman said a backlog of around 6,000 payment orders had been brought down to about 300 by Friday night.
Is bitcoin the safest place to store your money from hackers?
Even though the bank work on finding a solution, the reality is that we rely on banks. One client, who spoke to Times of Malta, described how she only had €19 in cash. She had no access to her own money since the bank did not accept non-euro funds into accounts.
“They were unable to offer any short-term solution to our dire predicament,” the client said, pointing out that, when contacted, the bank told the client to file complaints online.
Meanwhile, the bank has issued a formal statement, saying that it will endeavour to have third-party payment services fully operational by Monday.
“Bank of Valletta is pleased to announce that its third-party payment services outside the Euro area are being reactivated from its branch network and will endeavour to have them fully operational by Monday. The Bank is in the meantime working also to reinstate these payments through Internet Banking.”
Earlier this month, Wells Fargo experienced system failure because of a smoke alarm at one of the bank’s facilities. Wells Fargo is one of the biggest financial institutions in the world. If hacks and system failures happen to these big institutions, were are people safe? Many argue that bitcoin might be the answer or at least a decentralised solution was not one single entity is in control. In truth, the bitcoin network has been functioning 99,98 per cent since inception.
Even though the banks can solve their problems now, when does the next problem arrive?
Dennis Sahlström has been trading and investing since 2012 and has for the last two years been consistently profitable. He has been in the crypto- and blockchain space since the middle of 2017 and realized its potential for our world, not least how it is transforming the society we live in. He has now created an education platform, together with the wealth coach Marcus the Maria. They teach regular people how to invest and trade in the cryptocurrency market with proven strategies. If you want to learn more and feel like its time to get into this new asset class, download our free book and register to the next live training to get your future in cryptocurrencies started.