Cyber-attack continues to leave home sales in limbo

A major cybersecurity issue affecting the property legal sector continues to wreak havoc in the housing market with property chains across the UK adversely impacted.

Thousands of exchanges and completions have been severely delayed as conveyancing firms struggle to access necessary systems to progress transactions.

A major outage from legal sector specialist infrastructure service provider, CTS, is having a major knock-on impact, with up to 80 law firms affected.

A CTS spokesperson said: “We are experiencing a service outage which has impacted a portion of the services we deliver to some of our clients.

“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.

“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.”

Purchasers have expressed their distress on social media after a number of completions were delayed.

Writing on X, formerly known as Twitter, some buyers said they had only been given limited information and were surprised the problems had lasted so long.

“There is no proper update, communications and transparency. This is really horrendous. While I can acknowledge the situation and the complexity, the … urgency is clear,” said one.

“Meant to complete yesterday. Your inability to keep your cyber security in place is causing a lot of distress,” said another.

Rob Hailstone, CEO and founder of Bold Legal Group, is advising estate agents and conveyancers to cooperate to ensure they minimise the disruptions currently being caused by the cybersecurity issue.

He said: “The recent cybersecurity incident currently affecting a large number of law firms will be traumatic for those directly, and indirectly involved. The information being passed down to the affected firms is likely to be sparse. Thankfully the market is quieter than usual but to counter that we have the Christmas rush building up.

“Agents and conveyancers need to work together to try to minimise the difficulties that may be being imposed on each other and on clients hoping to exchange a complete. Hopefully a solution will be found sooner rather than later.



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