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Cyber Attack leaves home sales in disarray

This week has seen another large scale cyber-attack aimed at the legal sector, this time through a specialist legal IT support company called CTS . Whilst CTS have not revealed the scale of the problem or its exact nature, the impact across the UK is significant, with many home sellers and buyers unable to complete their current transactions.

Picture of house with For Sale sign outside
Property transactions are a major source of income for cyber criminals

As we have spoken about at the Eastern Cyber Resilience Centre on numerous occasions, the legal and property sectors remain high value prizes for cyber criminals.

At the time of writing, CTS, which announced the problem last week have said it still did not know when services would be restored. The incident is having a knock-on effect on the firms involved in property completions with up to 80 law firms currently affected.

What have CTS said?

The most recent update on their website from Friday 24th November states

"The outage was caused by a cyber-incident…. We are working closely with a leading global cyber forensics firm to help us with an urgent investigation into the incident and to assist us in service restoration.
"Whilst we are confident that we will be able to restore services, we are unable to give a precise timeline for full restoration."

What next?

These types of incidents are sadly more and more common and the ECRC would like to stress that currently no blame or fault can be apportioned to any party. That does not alter the impact on consumers, laws firms and estate agents, as well as CTS themselves, and I’m sure that all would wish for a swift resolution to the incident.

Law firm scene showing office workers sitting and standing
Law firms handle vast amounts of money in conveyancing transactions

This situation does underline the vulnerability that all organisations face in the cyberverse. If you want to find out more about how you can protect your organisations data and reputation then join the The Eastern Cyber Resilience Centre for free.

Free membership of our centre - which is a police led government funded company - opens up the opportunity to obtain free guidance, tools, and services to strengthen your business's cyber resilience.

Now is not the time to do nothing.

Reporting a live cyber-attack 24/7

If you are a business, charity or other organisation which is currently suffering a live cyber-attack (in progress), please call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 immediately. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Reporting a cyber-attack which isn't ongoing

Please report online to Action Fraud, the UK's national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime. You can report cybercrime online at any time using the online reporting tool, which will guide you through simple questions to identify what has happened. Action Fraud advisors can also provide the help, support, and advice you need.

Alternatively, you can call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 (textphone 0300 123 2050).


The contents of this website are provided for general information only and are not intended to replace specific professional advice relevant to your situation. The intention of The Cyber Resilience Centre for the East is to encourage cyber resilience by raising issues and disseminating information on the experiences and initiatives of others. Articles on the website cannot by their nature be comprehensive and may not reflect most recent legislation, practice, or application to your circumstances. The Cyber Resilience Centre for the East provides affordable services and Trusted Partners if you need specific support. For specific questions please contact us.

The Cyber Resilience Centre for the East does not accept any responsibility for any loss which may arise from reliance on information or materials published on this document. The Cyber Resilience Centre for the East is not responsible for the content of external internet sites that link to this site or which are linked from it.

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