How home buying is vulnerable to hackers

Hackers are using increasingly sophisticated methods to infiltrate themselves into the home buying process with potentially disastrous results for the home buyer.

Specifically, hackers are using email information stolen from realtors, closing attorneys, title companies and other individuals who are part of the home buying process to send out last second requests to anxious homebuyers to wire needed funds. By the time parties realize that the email request was bogus, their savings have been transferred with little hope of recouping the loss. The scam is described in detail in this blog. A friend of mine told me about this occurring in Putnam County, New York, and I think it’s worth giving people a heads up.

New York State has taken a lot of criticism for its Cyber Security Regulations, but one of its baseline requirements is that insurance companies and banks encrypt email in transit as well as make sure that it is adequately protected when it is being stored. This makes a heck of a lot of sense. Legislatures on both the state and federal level should consider making this a baseline requirement for all companies.

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