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Cyberattack on Rapattoni: A Blow to Real Estate Listings Across the U.S.

Cyberattack on Rapattoni: A Blow to Real Estate Listings Across the U.S. hacker sitting at long
Ransomware attack on Rapattoni has disrupted real estate listings nationwide. Learn about the impact, concerns over data security, and the industry's response.
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Table of Contents

Cyberattack on Rapattoni: A Blow to Real Estate Listings Across the U.S. (Real Estate Communication Crisis)

On August 9, 2023, Rapattoni Corporation, a Southern California-based company that hosts multiple-listing services across the state and nation, fell victim to a ransomware attack.

The attack has left hundreds of thousands of MLS member agents nationwide in a lurch, affecting the flow of the real estate market.

Cyberattack on Rapattoni A Blow to Real Estate Listings Across the U.S., United States map rendering, trace line all over map

The Attack

The ransomware attack, a type of cyberattack where hackers take control of systems until a ransom is paid, has taken down Rapattoni’s servers.

Federal authorities are investigating the incident, and Rapattoni’s insurance company is negotiating with the ransomware individuals.

The company has been working around the clock to restore the system but has not provided an estimated time for restoration.

Impact on the Real Estate Market

The outage has affected areas where home sellers won’t have as much exposure for their properties, and buyers won’t be able to see what’s available easily.

The MLS services, which have been the primary vehicles for real estate professionals for decades, are now crippled.

Brian Domingos, president of the Fresno Association of Realtors, expressed the challenges faced due to the outage, stating that traditional ways of finding out about listings, sold listings, and homes under contract are not being reported.

Cyberattack on Rapattoni A Blow to Real Estate Listings Across the U.S., infected home sitting on open laptop computer

Concerns Over Data Security

The reports have raised concerns over whether credit card information and other data shared by real estate agents and brokers with Rapattoni via the local MLS system could be at risk.

Rapattoni has stated that they don’t believe any information has been compromised, but the uncertainty remains.

Widespread Effects

Rapattoni serves about 5% of the various multiple-listing services across the country. At least 34 other real estate organizations in 12 states subscribe to Rapattoni’s real-time information service.

The affected areas include Bakersfield, Bay Area Real Estate Information Services, Calaveras County, Kings County, Sacramento Association of Realtors, Ojai Valley, San Francisco Association of Realtors, South Tahoe Association of Realtors, and the Tehachapi Area Association of Realtors.

Cyberattack on Rapattoni A Blow to Real Estate Listings Across the U.S., worldwide implications, cyber globe, laptop computer

Workarounds and Future Implications

While the company is still working to restore its systems, affected MLS systems are finding workarounds.

In Fresno, new listings and open houses are being manually submitted for hourly updates to member agents.

The attack on Rapattoni underscores the vulnerability of critical infrastructure in the real estate sector and raises questions about cybersecurity preparedness.

It also highlights the need for robust measures to protect sensitive data and ensure the continuity of essential services.

Conclusion: Residual and Future Data Infections

The cyberattack on Rapattoni is a stark reminder of the growing threat of cybercrime in today’s digital age.

The incident has not only disrupted the real estate market but also raised serious concerns about data security and the need for stringent cybersecurity measures.

The real estate industry, along with other sectors, must take heed and invest in robust security protocols to safeguard against future attacks.

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