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LIV wants improved security processes for PEXA electronic conveyancing system

LIV wants improved security processes for PEXA electronic conveyancing system

By LIV Media

Securities 

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The Law Institute of Victoria believes the security processes involved in the PEXA electronic conveyancing system must be tightened before its mandatory use comes into effect later this year.

LIV Council member and property law specialist Simon Libbis said the recent security issues around the PEXA system showed it was not sufficiently robust on the eve of its launch as a compulsory system on 1 October 2018.

“The system should have tighter security measures in place to ensure that funds are going to the right account. Otherwise there is a real risk in using it. Improved security procedures are needed to stop potential cyber hacking of property transactions,” he said. LIV Property Law Committee co-chair David McKenzie said part of the problem was that PEXA relied on inherently insecure email for its communication. The move from paper to electronic settlement had meant a layer of security has been lost from the system, he said. "In paper this would not have happened because when a settlement clerk tried to bank the cheques they would find they didn't match up."

PEXA has announced it is developing additional alerts and processes to enhance security in its system.

LIV President Belinda Wilson said the LIV had previously raised concerns about security and privacy around the electronic conveyancing system when it was first proposed and when PEXA was formed to run the online system.

PEXA is owned by the Victorian, NSW, Queensland and Western Australian Governments and Australia’s four major banks, Macquarie Capital, the Little Group and the Link Group.

The Legal Practitioners’ Liability Committee (LPLC) has issued a security warning to PEXA users, urging them to double check payment details before signing off, regularly monitor their accounts for unauthorised users, and to maintain email security protocols to minimise the chance of the email system being hacked. The LPLC security bulletin is here.

The LIV encourages members to follow the LPLC advice around the use of the PEXA system. The LIV has shared the securing warnings and the fact sheet links via Law News and on social media platforms.

The LIV has published two fact sheets Cyber security for law firms and Cyber security for the individual.

The Victorian Legal Services Board + Commissioner has issued a bulletin warning practitioners about cybercrime threats


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