House sales and purchases across the UK have been disrupted by a cyber-attack affecting multiple conveyancing firms.
CTS, a legal sector specialist infrastructure service provider, confirmed in a statement that it has experienced a service outage caused by a cyber-incident.
The firm said the cyber-attack has impacted a portion of the services it delivers to some of its clients.
The outage is believed to have affected up to 200 law firms that use CTS’ services. This prevents conveyancing companies from accessing the necessary systems to progress property transactions.
Numerous UK-based law firms, including O’Neill Patient, Talbots Law and Taylor Rose MW, have issued statements informing customers that they are “currently experiencing service difficulties due to a technical outage affecting multiple organizations within the legal sector.”
The incident threatens to severely delay many exchanges and completions that are due to take place today.
CTS said it is working with third-party experts, including a leading global forensics firm, to help investigate the incident and restore its services.
“Whilst we are confident that we will be able to restore services, we are unable to give a precise timeline for full restoration. We will continue to communicate directly with those of our clients which are impacted by the service outage, providing regular updates on the status of our work to restore services and our investigations into the incident,” the company wrote.
Commenting on the story, Mike Newman, CEO of My1Login, noted that delays to the house buying and selling process could cause significant personal damage to those impacted.
He added that the incident demonstrates the dangers posed by having increasingly interconnected supply chains, where a breach of a single organization can potentially impact hundreds or even thousands of businesses.
“It sounds like estate agents and conveyancers are being impacted as a result of the attack on CTS, which highlights the difficulties of depending so heavily on third party software. Suddenly everything comes to a halt, it’s not just the target of the attack that suffers the consequences,” said Newman.