NSW Police make arrest of alleged Landmark White dark web cyber hacker

NSW Police make arrest of alleged Landmark White dark web cyber hacker
Joel RobinsonDecember 7, 2020

There has been an arrest following the data breaches at property valuation firm Landmark White earlier this year.

The NSW Police Force Cybercrime Squad were acting on the cyber security hacks that occurred in February and June

In June detectives from the NSW State Crime Command’s Cybercrime Squad established Strike Force Vide to investigate unauthorised access to the main database and document store of the company.

With the assistance of company staff, investigations identified that unauthorised access was gained into the company’s database and more than 170,000 data records including personal information and valuation documents were uploaded to the dark web and the internet.

Following extensive inquiries, strike force detectives arrested a 49-year-old man in Sydney’s CBD about 8am today.

NSW Police make arrest of alleged Landmark White dark web cyber hacker

Shortly after the arrest, detectives, assisted by the Public Order and Riot Squad, executed a search warrant at a home at Rozelle, and a crime scene warrant at a business data centre at Ultimo.

The man, who is a software contractor, has been taken to Surry Hills Police Station, where he is expected to be charged.

Investigations under Strike Force Vide are continuing.

Timothy Rabbitt, CEO of LMW, said “the arrest was a great relief for the business and our staff, and would help ease the stress many of our staff have felt over the last six months”. 

“The arrest was also a vindication of LMW’s stance that this was a serious crime committed against the company. We are grateful that the person arrested was not an employee.

“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.”

LMW’s team, including appointed digital forensic advisors and privacy consultants, have been working closely with the Cybercrime Squad since the incident occurred.

Investigations have revealed that the breach was carried out by an individual external to LMW with trusted inside access

Landmark White, who estimated that the breaches cost the company over $7 million, have since got ANZ back on board as they try and rebuild. 

The company has undertaken a significant investment in IT security and other system enhancements, engaging external network security experts.

“The enhancements to our network security allow us to demonstrate via third-party audit that our IT systems represent a best-practice, secure platform," Rabbitt says.

"In driving these ongoing enhancements, our goal is always to provide services to our clients in an efficient, cost-effective and secure manner,” 

Rabbitt said the incident had caused significant disruption to its business and caused a great deal of stress and angst to our staff, but that the events of this year had made the firm stronger.

“A number of financial institutions with whom we’ve had long-term relationships have reinstated LMW to the panels of valuation providers, which is fantastic.

"We are also extremely grateful to our 300 loyal staff, who have continued to work with us to put our clients first,” Rabbitt said. 

“We have been a trusted member of the industry for over 40 years, and we look forward to putting this incident behind us and getting back to work with all our clients and partners across Australia.”


Joel Robinson

Joel Robinson is a property journalist based in Sydney. Joel has been writing about the residential real estate market for the last five years, specializing in market trends and the economics and finance behind buying and selling real estate.

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