First American becomes latest real estate industry giant hit with cyberattack

Jason Macuray
Title insurance company First American confirmed Thursday that it is dealing with a cyberattack.

Title insurance company First American confirmed Thursday that it is dealing with a cyberattack.

The company has not responded to requests for comment about whether it’s a ransomware attack but wrote on a temporary website that it has taken certain systems offline and is “working to return to normal business operations as soon as possible.”

First American provides title insurance and settlement services for real estate companies and mortgage providers. It reported revenues of $7.6 billion in 2022.

Three weeks ago, the California-based company agreed to pay a $1 million penalty to New York state after a massive breach of customer information in May 2019.

First American’s websites appeared to be offline Thursday afternoon. The incident caps a year full of cyberattacks on key components of the global financial system.

Fidelity National Financial — another Fortune 500 provider of title insurance for property sales — was hit with ransomware last month, snarling home purchases across the U.S. for days.

Financial services giants like MeridianLink, Tipalti and Moneris have all reported incidents this fall. One of the world’s largest banks, ICBC, also announced a ransomware attack last month.

Just last week, one of the largest mortgage loan servicers in the U.S., Mr. Cooper, said the information of nearly 14.7 million people was leaked during a previously reported cyberattack in October.

First American has not yet filed any documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission — which this week fully implemented its new rule mandating businesses report cyber incidents within 96 hours of determining that they have a “material” effect on a company’s operations.

The Federal Trade Commission also approved its own new rules that will make it mandatory for non-bank financial institutions to report data breaches and security events within 30 days.

The attack on First American is likely to cause further issues for those in the process of buying homes and securing mortgages. The Fidelity National Financial ransomware attack forced home buyers to wait days for transactions to be completed.

First American’s stock price slipped on Thursday by 2.6%.

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Jonathan Greig is a Breaking News Reporter at Recorded Future News. Jonathan has worked across the globe as a journalist since 2014. Before moving back to New York City, he worked for news outlets in South Africa, Jordan and Cambodia. He previously covered cybersecurity at ZDNet and TechRepublic.

 

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