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IT contractor arrested for LandMark White data breach
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  • LandMark White has announced the NSW Police Force Cybercrime Squad has made an arrest in relation to the cyber incident that struck the company early this year
  • The cyber attacks involved approximately 170,000 data records and over 1600 supporting documents being leaked
  • The man arrested has been identified a 49-year-old IT contractor in Sydney, with trusted access to the company
  • Several major national banks suspended LMW as a property valuer, but some have now reinstated it following today's news

LandMark White announced to the market today the NSW Police Force Cybercrime Squad has made an arrest in relation to the cyber incident that struck the company in February 2019.

On February 4, the real estate company became aware that a dataset containing property valuation and personal contact information had been disclosed to the 'dark web'.

Investigations commenced immediately, as well as actions made to protect employees, corporate partners, and over 100,000 affected customers.

The cyber attacks involved approximately 170,000 data records and over 1600 supporting documents which were initially accessed in February and again in June.

Today, LandMark White has announced one man has been arrested, who NSW police have reported to be a 49-year-old Sydney IT contractor with trusted access to company files.

"Landmark White (LMW) has welcomed the arrest of a man this morning by detectives from the NSW Police Force Cybercrime Squad in connection with the data breach incidents that affected LMW in 2019," the company stated following the arrest.

The man's house was raided this morning before he was taken to Surry Hills police station for interviewing.

Throughout the year, the property firm was concerned the breach was committed by an employee as the documents did not appear to have been taken through an IT-related security breach. LMW is grateful that wasn't the case.

While the alleged perpetrator wasn't an employee, he had trusted access to hundreds of thousands of valuation records and personal data which he reportedly shared to Scribd, a U.S. file sharing platform.

The exploitation of the company's data not only halved its share price, but kept it suspended from valuation work following the second data breach.

Major national banks including Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, Bankwest, NAB, Suncorp, HSBC, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Latrobe, and ANZ all suspended LandMark White as a property valuer.

As a result, FY19 for LMW was tough, and the company posted a yearly loss of $15.1 million.

In today's announcement, however, LMW disclosed that a number of financial institutions have reinstated it to their panels of valuation providers.

LMW has reportedly made considerable investment and upgrades to its system this year. It's fully compliant with the International Standard ISO27001 - Information Security Management, and will soon be externally certified.

"We hope today's arrest will bring closure to these data incidents and will give confidence to LMW's clients, partners and staff, that we can continue to provide a secure long-term work environment for our staff and a quality service to our clients," newly-appointed CEO Timothy Rabbitt said.

LMW by the numbers
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