Ransomware Attack on Garmin

Garmin services still down after ransomware attack last week.

The Kansas based GPS maker experienced a ransomware attack, resulting in outages for users. When the attack was discovered Thursday morning, it appears Garmin took all services offline to contain the spread of the attack. The event also affected call centers, email, and online chat, so currently the company has no way to support their customers. Garmin says customer data was not compromised. Many outdoor adventure types rely on Garmin systems. Garmin makes specific equipment for divers, mountaineers, pilots, and marine vessels.

Garmin’s largest product category are fitness watches and computers. They make advanced cycling computers, as well as running, swimming, and golf specific sport watches. Users are currently not able to upload their activity data to the Garmin server, which then connects to other fitness tracking apps. Garmin also makes aeronautical software for iPad and Android tablets. Pilots are reporting they are not able to download flight plans, or the aviation database from Garmin servers. An up-to-date aviation database is required for flight by the FAA, so pilots who only use Garmin software to fly are currently grounded. Garmin also makes emergency devices for adventurers far from cell towers. Users can send for help, and also communicate through satellite services. Garmin says these emergency devices are still operational.

The ransomware WastedLocker is believed to be behind the attack. This form of ransomware is attributed to a hacking group based in Russia, appropriately named, Evil Corp. The ransomware encrypts servers and adds “wasted” to the end of the file name to leave their mark. Evil Corp has increased ransomware attacks since May, targeting large US companies with the new WastedLocker ransomware. Other outlets are reporting the criminals are asking a 10 million dollar ransom. Only Monday, did Garmin admit the outage was due to ransomware, but have not publicly responded to the ransom. Systems began to come back online throughout the day Monday, but Garmin says it will take some time to get all features back to normal.

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Posted by Charles Wright