On July 23, 2020 Garmin, a GPS navigation and wearable technology company reported a ransomware attack that shutdown various sites and services to their customers.
At first, the attack was only reported as an issue included in an ongoing investigation. But, several employees of Garmin took to social media outlets to share the news of the ransomware attack.
Now, before we dive into the attack, let’s take a look at Garmin as a company, to better understand the impact of the attack.
To begin, Garmin (per their About page on their website) “makes products that are engineered on the inside for life on the outside. We do this so our customers can make the most of the time they spend pursuing their passions”.
With more than 14,500 associates in 65 offices around the world, we bring GPS navigation and wearable technology to the automotive, aviation, marine, outdoor and fitness markets. We think every day is an opportunity to innovate, and a chance to beat yesterday.
Overall, Garmin is a company that provides wearable tech and GPS technology to a wide range of customers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Now, when the company faced the attack, numerous services, networks and production systems fell victim to cyber criminals. Let’s take a look at the attack.
Last Thursday, when Garmin announced the breach, many problems broke out as a result. One, the ransomware attack encrypted their internal networks and production systems. This created a domino effect of problems.
As a result of the encryption, several Garmin services like Garmin Connect, their aviation database and websites became unavailable.
To try and cope with the issue, Garmin put out a notice that these services and sites were now under maintenance, and customers should check back later.
Further, this became a major issue for the many Garmin customers. Those tracking bike rides or their daily hike lost the ability to do so. Not only that, but also people depending on their GPS services, like pilots, were unable to use or update their software.
This however isn’t the end of the problems. The call centers and customer support portals were rendered useless during the attack. The company lost its way of communicating with customers to discuss such issues.
Garmin customer service representatives lost the ability to answer phone calls, emails and online chats.
Overall, their customers and the company lost a lot during the ransomware attack.
Continuing, the company released a statement on their site and twitter regarding the attack.
In the company statement posted on their website, Garmin states that they are indeed the victim of a cyber attack. To read the full company statement, click here.
Garmin addresses the attack, and answers the frequently asked questions in regard to the attack.
The company also took to Twitter to address the outage and attack.
This outage also affects our call centers, and we are currently unable to receive any calls, emails or online chats. We are working to resolve this issue as quickly as possible and apologize for this inconvenience. (2/2)
— Garmin (@Garmin) July 23, 2020
Update on the Garmin Situation
Finally, as of July 27th, 2020, Garmin reports that the most of the services affected by the attack and outage are back up and running. Hence the company being able to post a statement on their site.
We are happy to report that many of the systems and services affected by the recent outage, including Garmin Connect, are returning to operation. Some features still have temporary limitations while all of the data is being processed.
— Garmin (@Garmin) July 27, 2020
While they are experiencing some limitations still due to the investigation of the attack, the company believes they are on the other side of the issue now.
All in all folks, Garmin experienced quite the scare with this ransomware attack. At first, the company did not even want to call it ransomware, just somewhat of an issue. But boy, the ransomware really hit the company hard.
Overall, the company also reports that they believe that customer information was not accessed or affected in the attack. Let’s hope it stays that way.
By Taylor Ritchey