The IT meltdown at conveyancing giant Simplify is now being investigated by police, suggesting strongly that tech problems at the firm and its conveyancing service brands have been caused by criminal activity.
One of the most high profile of its operations, Premier Property Lawyers (PPL), has seen the most public exposure from the ‘cyber-security incident’ as many customers have turned to the media and social media to highlight chains falling apart and property purchases/sales at risk of falling through.
Other big operations affected include JS Law, DC Law and Advantage Property Lawyers
This includes one vendor who contacted The Negotiator last week to reveal that they were ‘still in the dark’ despite Simplify claiming that it was working through the backlog of transaction, starting with those had the most pressing need – i.e. those nearing exchange of contracts – and working other transaction further down the line.
But over the weekend The Law Society reported that Simplify had confirmed that a ‘security incident’ was the source of the huge IT outage.
Although the company said it would not comment further, a ‘criminal investigation’ suggests that the company has been the target of a ‘ransomware’ attack which criminal hackers demand money in return for systems to be restored.
But Simplify has some good news. Two of its operations, Cook Taylor Woodhouse and Gordon Brown Law have been unaffected by the IT problems because it does not share the same tech platform as its stablemates.
A statement from Simplify says: “We still have work to do before we are back to normal but we are using all available time, resources and money to do this as quickly and safely as possible. This work continues 24/7 and will not stop until we are fully up to speed again.”