Home closing delayed after title company ‘cybersecurity incident’ | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A woman living in the Austin area finally got the keys to her new home Thursday afternoon after several days of delays during the closing process for something outside of her control.

Realtor Miriam Moorman said her client learned from her home’s developer when they went for a final walk-through that they would have to push back the closing because the title company, First American Financial Corporation, reported a “cybersecurity incident” that took down its email system and website. The company announced on Dec. 22 that it detected some “unauthorized activity” and warned customers about opening suspicious links from phony entities.

“The title company, the lender, the builder, they have all been so great,” Moorman said, “so I know that they’re working hard to make it so that we can still close today.”

She said her client never sent in any money before now so that all remain protected. However, she would like this to be a lesson for anyone making a major investment like this.

“It’s just so important not to click on any links unless you know for sure that you are expecting that link, and if you don’t, you need to call your realtor or the title company or your lender, whoever it looks like that link came from, and make sure that they actually were the person who sent you the link,” Moorman advised. “Otherwise, that is often how it happens is clicking on a link that is fraudulent and so you can never repeat that too many times, and you can never be too safe.”

First American shared Thursday its website is operating normally again — along with its home warranty program page. It also detailed how it’s now working with law enforcement, as well as regulators to investigate how this breach happened.

The company has yet to share how many customers were affected by this or whether delays would continue for others in the closing process. KXAN reached out Thursday for additional comment and will update this story once any response is shared.


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