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Land Registry portal offline until mid-April

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The Land Registry’s online platform is still knocked out, following the cyber attack some ten days ago, with officials saying it may take several weeks before technicians can get the vital service back online.

In comments to the Financial Mirror, the head of the island’s Land Registry, Elikkos Elia, said they hoped to see the online platform up and running in the first ten days of April.

“At best, we expect to see the platform coming back online by the end of the first working week of April. But even that could be farfetched, as the damage to the platform will need weeks to repair,” said Elia.

The Land Registry’s web portal was knocked offline on March 9, while it was forced to shut its offices the following day, after an unprecedented hack attack on its webpage and systems.

A week from the attack, technicians were able to bring the internal systems online, allowing for transactions such as property transfers, mortgages and the submission of encumbrances to take place physically at the Registry’s district offices.

Map browsing

The online platform offers prospect buyers and developers access to map browsing and navigation services, electronic applications for property demarcation and issuance of copies of title deeds and studies.

According to Elia, evidence points to a hack attack with some sort of ransomware.

“The assailants have targeted the lung of the Cypriot economy with their attack on the Land Registry,” commented Elia marking the seriousness of the matter.

“Essentially, the operation of this vital sector of the economy, worth billions of euros, was suspended,” he said.

Asked if any data regarding properties, or transactions have been lost, Elia said that technicians say that findings so far support that nothing has been lost.

“We cannot be 100% sure that no permanent damage has been inflicted, but the fact that we have not encountered anything missing, and we are able to carry out daily tasks is encouraging,” he said.

Elia added that the Registry’s employees have been putting in extra efforts to cater to a large number of transactions and appointments which were postponed following the hack attack.