The infamous Cobalt Gang is believed to be one of the potential suspects behind last month’s cyber attack on BOV which saw hackers steal €13 million from the bank.

The international hacking organisation was named by sources close to the investigation who were speaking to The Times of Malta.

Cobalt is a sophisticated hacking group known to pursue high-value financial targets rather than mass spam campaigns or individual credential thefts.

Active since at least 2016, the gang is known for their careful analysis of ATM systems, card processing systems and the international interbank payment messaging system SWIFT before carrying out attacks.

Cobalt have been connected to the theft of millions of dollars from financial institutions across 40 countries, causing over €1bn in damages

The report quotes sources as saying that BOV has been able to recover more than €3 million, with a significant portion of the stolen money having been traced to jurisdictions in the UK, the US, Hong Kong and the Czech Republic.

It believed that the hackers used a system known as PowerShell Empire in the attack which gave the group the ability to move through the bank’s system after gaining access.

Meanwhile, sources have said that the hackers may have undertaken ‘phishing’ attacks on the bank as early as October 2018.

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