Malta’s Bank of Valletta Suffers $14.7 Million Cyber Attack, Shows a Need for Bitcoin as an Alternative

A local publication in Malta, Times of Malta, reported on February 13th that the local Bank of Valletta had experienced a cybersecurity breach. The attack has left individuals and businesses associated with the bank without the ability to even access their funds.

Though this attack happened over a week ago, the problem has continued, which has led the crypto community to come out with claims that a stable and decentralized alternative should be implemented.

The hackers that infiltrated the bank’s system managed to move around 13 million euros, which appear to have been dispersed into foreign accounts. When the original bank functions were suspended, everything including ATMs, branches, mobile banking, and email services were rendered useless. After the attack, the Prime Minister confirmed that the transactions have already been traced and are in the process of being reversed.

Even with the comments by the bank and the Prime Minister, the continued complaints from customers show that there has been no completion of payments to third parties. One affected customer added,

“There is no information whatsoever on when this will be resolved. They told us specifically that they have no idea if it is days or weeks.”

In the UK, account holders have been impacted as well, and there’s yet to be any timelines released. However, there has also unusually been no proof of explanation, which has resulted in many customers losing their ability to pay the bills on time.

Furthermore, of the customers that have gotten in touch with Times of Malta, most have said that the experience has left them with a negative impression of the bank and the impact on their operations. Still, the formal statement from the bank said that it

“will endeavor to have them (third-party payment services) fully operational by Monday.”

This is not the first time a financial institution has made it difficult for customers to access their funds. Wells Fargo saw a system failure this month when “smoke was detected” at one of their facilities. The Visa network crashed last year for a small time, which was also the result of “system failure.”

The use of decentralization could easily help these circumstances. The Bitcoin network has been up and running actively for 99.98% of the time since it was created.

It was made to handle the energy required for a high amount of transactions, and the resources needed to attack are so much more than a financial institution would require. It is considered to be the most secure blockchain today.

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