Published by cyberdaily.au: UK cyber attack shuts down hundreds of UK realtors and lawyers
Media Release – November 28, 2023
A cyber-attack on a major UK legal managed services company brought property sales to a standstill for up to 200 real estate agencies since last week.
While there was no evidence that clients’ personal data has been compromised, the disruption has destabilised the market and caused reputational damage to the company, CTS.
As of this morning (AEST) the service had not been restored and the company, which serves property conveyancers, had not confirmed a timeline for the outage to be resolved.
A statement on their website reads:
We continue to work around the clock with the assistance of third-party experts. Whilst we are confident that we will be able to restore services, we are unable to give a precise timeline for full restoration.
Why this matters for Australians
The incident is being scrutinised globally, highlighting the need to further tighten data security.
The Australian property conveyancing sector is served by similar managed legal service providers including triSearch Australia. Their market leading solution known as triConvey is a cloud-based practice management solution built for conveyancers providing users access to an integrated software, search and conveyancing tools platform.
triSearch Chief Executive Officer, Chris Gibbs says that “as the sophistication and scale of cyber-attacks increases a prevention only response is no longer enough.
“Businesses should assume a cyber security attack will happen and by focusing on early detection and response planning businesses can be more resilient to an attack.
“The more prepared we are as a business for an attack the quicker we can bounce back and protect the interests of conveyancers, lawyers, homeowners, and buyers”, Mr Gibbs said”.
Earlier this month, Sydney-based data security strategist and consultant Shameela Gonzalez told industry publication, The Australian Conveyancer that it was more a case of when not if a cyber-attack attempt is made on the industry.
As transactions involve property and family trust funds, the stakes are high.
A director of security specialist CyberCX, Ms Gonzalez said:
“In our world we talk about high-value targets. From a conveyancer point of view, one thing a criminal will consider is who are the Australians that are financially better off? What post code do they live in? What are their mortgages? The property they are buying.
“That information becomes really lucrative for cyber criminals to then go and exploit an induvial or on-sell to the information to other criminals.”