Legal sector encryption failure gifts large payout to cyber criminals

Amicus ITS Blog

A recent account published in the Telegraph newspaper, reported the alarming story of a London couple who inadvertently became the victims of a cruel cyber attack.  Completion funds on the sale of their property were intercepted by cyber criminals and the couple lost all proceeds, totalling £333,000.

The law firm handling the conveyancing, Perry Hay & Co in Surrey, had emailed owner Paul Lupton, requesting his bank account details for the proceeds of sale to be paid into upon completion.  Mr Lupton duly replied, giving both account and sort code.  The fraudsters, using ‘xray’ technology which identifies data patterns with financial information, intercepted this email and replied to the law firm, requesting the previous email be ignored and funds be transferred to a different account, theirs.

On discovery that the monies had not transferred, the owner alerted the bank (Barclays) and the police.   The account was frozen and £271,000 was…

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