Cyberattack On Listings Provider Halts US Real Estate Markets – Slashdot

Cyberattack On Listings Provider Halts US Real Estate Markets – Slashdot


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from the real-world-consequences dept.

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Home buyers, sellers, real estate agents, and listing websites throughout the US have been stymied for five days by a cyberattack on a California company that provides a crucial online service used to track home listings. The attack, which commenced last Wednesday, hit Rapottoni, a software and services provider that supplies Multiple Listing Services to regional real estate groups nationwide. Better known as MLS, it provides instant access to data on which homes are coming to the market, purchase offers, and sales of listed homes. MLS has become essential for connecting buyers to sellers and to the agents and listing websites serving them.

“If you’re an avid online refresher on any real estate website, you may have noticed a real nosedive in activity the last couple of days,” Peg King, a realty agent in California’s Sonoma County, wrote in an email newsletter she sent clients on Friday. “Real estate MLS systems across the country have been unusable since Wednesday after a massive cyberattack against major MLS provider, Rapattoni Corporation. This means that real estate markets (like ours!) can’t list new homes, change prices, mark homes as pending/contingent/sold, or list open houses.”

While Rapattoni has referred to the incident as a cyberattack, it has been widely reported that the event is a ransomware attack, in which criminals gain unauthorized access to a victim’s network, encrypt or download crucial data and demand payment in exchange for decrypting the data or promising not to publish it. Rapattoni has so far not said publicly what sort of attack shut it down or other details. Rapattoni has yet to say whether personal information has been compromised. […] Not all regional listing services are affected because some use data vendors other than Rapattoni. The damage the outage is causing to agents, buyers, renters, and sellers could get worse unless services are restored in the next few days.

On Sunday, Rapattoni wrote: “We are continuing to investigate the nature and scope of the cyberattack that has caused a system outage and we are working diligently to get systems restored as soon as possible. All technical resources at our disposal are continuing to work around the clock through the weekend until this matter is resolved. We still do not have an ETA at this time, but we will continue to update you and keep you informed of our efforts.”

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