Homeowners left unable to complete sales as cyber attack on law firm IT provider CTS causes chaos

  • The cyber attack impacted between 80 and 200 law firms from last Wednesday
  • No sign that the issues have been resolved with many customers still in limbo
  • Property chains are falling apart due to some parties not being able to complete 

Home movers have been left unable to complete sales and purchases due to a cyber attack on a company that provides IT services to a large number of conveyancing firms.

Reports propose that somewhere between 80 and 200 law firms may have been impacted by the cyber breach.

The company in question, CTS, was hit by the cyber attack on Wednesday last week and it is unable to confirm when normal service will be resumed.

Home movers have been thrown into limbo following a cyber attack on a company that provides IT services to a large number of conveyancing firms

Home movers have been thrown into limbo following a cyber attack on a company that provides IT services to a large number of conveyancing firms

The regulator for property lawyers, CLC, has confirmed that the conveyancing sector is currently experiencing some disruption to transactions as a result of the cyber breach.

One person contacted This is Money to say they had lost their mortgage offer thanks to the delays.

The issue also has the potential to affect customers who are not using solicitors involved with CTS. 

This is because long property chains of buyers and sellers all rely on each other to ensure they can complete on their own purchases. 

Delays to just one of the transactions could have knock on effects for the rest of the chain.

The person said: ‘We were due to exchange and complete last Friday as we had a mortgage offer expiring.

‘We were only told on Thursday evening last week that one of the solicitors in the chain was impacted by these IT issues.

‘We could not exchange and complete and the solicitor in question had zero willingness or capability to sort without the IT system being back online.

‘We had removal men at my property on the Friday morning which I had to cancel.

‘My mortgage provider extended my deadline until Monday, but I had to return the funds yesterday given we received no advocate update on the IT system.

‘In total, four parties and three properties in the chain are just on standby equating to £2million in total property value.’

A home mover on X, formerly known as Twitter, said it had been more than week since their last update and expressed concerns about whether their personal information was at risk.

They added: ‘My solicitor has just gone quiet and ignored email requesting info. It has been over a week with no updates other than generic ‘IT problems’ emails from solicitor, no other comms at all despite chasing.

‘And if this was a hack, who has had access to our data? We have no idea! But the process of buying exposes a massive amount of personal data via solicitors including access to bank accounts.’

One of the conveyancing firms impacted by is O’Neill Patient Solicitors (ONP).

It saif when its infrastructure service provider, CTS, suffered the outage last Wednesday it took down some of its systems. 

It says it has seen no evidence to propose that any of its data was compromised.

Nick Hale, chief executive of ONP, says: ‘This is an awful situation that is affecting much of our industry. 

‘This is already a stressful time for people, particularly those due to complete on a new home. 

‘We really feel for everyone affected and we are doing all we can to help. Our clients’ well-being is very much a top priority for me and my whole team.’

Anyone remortgaging at present could also be at risk from the cyber attack.

If a remortgaging customer is unable to seamlessly complete on the day their existing mortgage deal expires this means they will fall onto their current lender’s standard variable rate, which can be as high as 9.5 per cent.

CTS has been contacted for comment but has said it is unable to add anything else to the statement it published on its website.

It says: ‘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. 

‘We will continue to convey 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.’


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