Solano County – Members of the Bay Area Real Estate Information Services (BAREIS) have found themselves unable to access the real estate data service following a ransomware cyber attack on a vendor, Rapattoni Corporation, that took place last Wednesday. BAREIS is the local MLS for the counties of Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Solano, and Mendocino.
Real estate agents utilize BAREIS in order to list properties for sale, announce open houses, and update the statuses and other information of existing listings. The data entered into BAREIS feeds out to real estate websites like Realtor.com, Zillow, Redfin, and others.
Heading into the weekend, frustrated agents were unable to input new listing information, open house dates, price changes, status updates, and more. Sellers who planned to list properties for sale prior to the weekend or to hold open houses were forced to delay as a result of the cyberattack.
In an update sent to members on Friday, BAREIS announced a limited workaround to the system outage. Metrolist, an MLS system used for other counties in the central and northern parts of the state, granted BAREIS members temporary access to their system, which was less impacted by the cyberattack but still encountering issues.
Still, agents are unable to input listing information directly into the MLS, but can view local listings with the caveat that information hasn’t been updated since Wednesday.
Another workaround is the option for agents to fill out forms to have listing information added, but new listing information won’t automatically feed out to other websites. A separate form allows agents to submit new listing information directly to Zillow, but the cyberattack is still limiting the ability of agents to expose listings to the typical market.
BAREIS is still down as of 11:00 p.m. local time on Monday.
Cyberattacks Are a Growing Threat
Ransomware cyberattacks have rapidly emerged as one of the most formidable threats facing a wide range of organizations, from multinational corporations to government entities. These malicious attacks, where hackers gain unauthorized access to a system and encrypt its data, demanding payment in return for decryption, have demonstrated the capacity to cripple operations and cost millions.
Recent and local incidents are examples. The City of Oakland faced a significant disruption when its critical systems were held hostage, affecting public services. Similarly, the California Department of Justice fell victim to a cyber breach which leaked the identities of all conceal carry permit holders, raising questions about data security in our most sensitive government sectors.
Major corporations haven’t been spared either; T-Mobile experienced a data breach that exposed millions of its customers’ data, while Yum! Brands, the parent company of popular fast-food chains, also faced a severe cyber intrusion.
These incidents highlight the need for robust cybersecurity measures across all sectors, emphasizing the real and present dangers ransomware presents in our interconnected digital age.