Fidelity National Financial data breach emerged as a headline on Tuesday when the Fortune 500 giant, specializing in title insurance and settlement services for the real estate sector, disclosed its encounter with a significant cybersecurity challenge.
In a swift move to address this breach, the company not only initiated a comprehensive investigation but also engaged leading cybersecurity experts. Furthermore, Fidelity National Financial promptly informed law enforcement and implemented strategic measures to assess and control the incident, as reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Fidelity National Financial data breach is official
The company’s report further detailed their response, stating, “Among other containment measures, we blocked access to certain of our systems, which resulted in disruptions to our business.” This action notably impacted various services including title insurance, escrow, and other related functions, along with mortgage transactions.
The report also disclosed, “Based on our investigation to date, FNF has determined that an unauthorized third party accessed certain FNF systems and acquired certain credentials.” The company emphasized that the investigation is actively ongoing.
Real Estate News highlighted the immediate consequences of the Fidelity National Financial data breach breach, revealing that numerous real estate closings were abruptly halted. This disruption left agents and homebuyers in a state of urgency, seeking alternative ways to finalize their transactions, which were reportedly not expected to resume until Sunday.
In a conversation with TechCrunch, an individual connected to a company that collaborates with Fidelity National Financial, possessing insight into the situation, disclosed that FNF took drastic measures. The company reportedly opted to completely shut down its network, systems, and even email services. This was described as a strategic move to cleanse their servers in Jacksonville, aiming to avert further complications.
The fallout from the Fidelity National Financial data breach extends to numerous buyers who were scheduled to finalize their home purchases this week. These individuals, relying on Fidelity and its affiliates, have been informed of delays, with systems required for completing transactions anticipated to be offline until Sunday.
San Francisco broker Kate Fomina of Crypton Realty conveyed to Real Estate News the challenges her clients are facing due to this delay. They were expecting to close on Wednesday, but Fomina received a call from the escrow company, Chicago Title. “They told me there was a security breach and because of that they have to shut down the whole system, all over the country,” she explained. “The closing system is down at least until Sunday. They can’t send any wires, can’t release for recording.”
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Fomina’s buyers, already in a complex situation, have their loan funded by the bank. “So my buyers are paying a mortgage already on a home they don’t own,” she added. The escrow officer assured Fomina of finding a solution, possibly resorting to traditional methods for closing. “She told me that if we cannot close for another week, escrow will assume all the mortgage payments that my buyers have to make,” Fomina mentioned.
Though Fomina’s clients are not in a rush to move in, she expressed concern for other buyers with tighter schedules, especially those planning to close around Thanksgiving week. She raised the issue of clients involved in time-sensitive transactions like 1031 exchanges or those needing funds for subsequent purchases, emphasizing the critical nature of these dates.
Furthermore, an IT professional from a company utilizing FNF’s services informed TechCrunch about the extent of the lockdown at FNF, describing the situation as “all locked up,” indicating a comprehensive and rigorous response to the Fidelity National Financial data breach.
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