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Garmin Still Recovering After Major Ransomware Attack Cripples Systems

David Paul

,

Garmin

Hackers gained access to company data and shut down several essential services.

Smartwatch developer Garmin has announced it is recovering from a major attack on its systems last week.

The cloud service, Garmin Connect, was compromised in an apparent ransomware attack which stopped users from posting their run times, syncing data from Garmin hardware to their smartphone apps and accessing customer support services.

Hackers are alleged to have demanded a $10 million (£7.76m) ransom for the release of the stolen data, although Garmin failed to mention the ransom in a recent statement.

“Affected systems are being restored and we expect to return to normal operation over the next few days. We do not expect any material impact to our operations or financial results because of this outage,” a spokesperson for the company said. “As our affected systems are restored, we expect some delays as the backlog of information is being processed.”

“We are grateful for our customers’ patience and understanding during this incident and look forward to continuing to provide the exceptional customer service and support that has been our hallmark and tradition,” the spokesperson added.

On Monday, the company announced that the hack had taken place, but said that there was no evidence that critical customer data had been compromised or stolen.

Garmin continued: “We have no indication that any customer data, including payment information from Garmin Pay, was accessed, lost or stolen.

“Additionally, the functionality of Garmin products was not affected, other than the ability to access online services.”

It is believed that the attack was carried out by Russia-based hacker group, ‘Evil Corp’, using software called Wasted Locker – a programme that scrambles a target’s data.

The company says that systems are slowly beginning to be restored, and Sky News revealed that Garmin has gained access to the encryption key to recover its computer files.

As well as smartwatch users not being to use their hardware, pilots who use the flyGarmin software were also affected and unable to access up-to-date aviation databases, something pilots are required to have before they can fly.

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The attack is a major blow for Garmin, one of many organisations who have recently suffered from major cyber attacks on their systems.

Last week, universities across several countries, including the UK and Canada, were hit by ransomware attacks that saw user data stolen and a ransom demanded.

Hackers are believed to have accessed information through a third-party cloud computing provider called Blackbaud, gaining access to details such as phone numbers and donation history.

Unlike the Garmin attacks, Blackbaud admitted it paid an undisclosed sum to the hackers after claims that the data had been destroyed and no credit card details or bank information was accessed.

David Paul

Staff Writer, DIGIT

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