GPS and Fitness Tracker firm, Garmin is suffering the consequences of a ransomware assault

29 July 2020

Cyber Security Cybersecurity Garmin Hacking Ransomware

On the 23rd July, the owners of Garmin’s goods were unable to utilize its services. However, according to its online dashboard, some of its online services are still being offered in a "restricted" state. Garmin said it was "a survivor of a cyber attack that compromised some of our devices." Despite this, the report published avoided any link to ransom demand.


"Some of our electronic resources have been disrupted, including website operations, customer care, user-based software and corporate communications," it said.

"We have no evidence that any customer data, including payment information from Garmin Pay, has been hacked, lost or compromised."


The company added that it expected all of its operations to return to full service within a few days but, indicated that there may be a backlog of user data to be processed. It is not really clear if the company paid the fraudsters, but the source told the BBC that it was in the "final stage of recovery."


BBC technology journalist Joe Tidy said the malware involved was Wasted Locker - a code that scrambles the target 's data and was first found in the wild in April. Victims are normally approached after their devices have been compromised and informed that they need to move funds if they wish to restore the files to their original state. Several users have already confirmed that Garmin 's systems appear to be "partially" functioning again. Earlier news suggested that the company was forced to spend $10 Million to get the services back up. Pilots using flyGarmin have not been able to access up-to-date aviation resources that aviation authorities, such as the FAA, expect pilots to have before they can fly. Customers were also unable to log in to Garmin Connect to monitor and review their personal fitness results.


There have been several high-profile assaults in last few weeks, but few casualties have been as close-lipped as Garmin. Until now, following reports from several independent outlets through independent newsrooms, the company is continuing not to acknowledge that it was ransomware. The big question is whether or not the organization has paid the extortionist what is anticipated to be a multi-million dollar sum. It appears that the company has finally got the key it needs to decrypt the message in order to begin getting its services back online.


As well as consumers and stakeholders,  Government will be very keen to hear what has occurred. Members of Evil Corp, a terrorist organisation accused of being behind the cyberattack, has been prosecuted by the US Treasury in 2019.


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