Garmin suffers massive outage, leaving fitness devices disconnected
GPS tech provider Garmin has been hit by a massive outage. The company's services and call centers have been down for more than 24 hours, with many predicting that it has fallen victim to a ransomware attack. The news comes just days after Twitter was targeted in a major attack that left dozens of high profile accounts hacked and many more conned. Here's more.
Services disabled, company not reachable
As per reports, since day before yesterday, most of Garmin's services, including its websites, apps, Connect data-syncing platform, have been unusable due to the outage. The issue has left several fitness devices - smart bands and smartwatches - sold by the company disconnected, with users not being able to sync their data to measure their running, cycling performance, among other things.
Other essential services affected
Along with consumer wearables, the outage has also affected flyGarmin, the web navigation service that supports Garmin's aviation devices. It has been keeping pilots from downloading the latest version of the company's navigation database on to their equipment. Even Garmin Pilot, the service used for scheduling and planning corporate/general flights, as well as the company's call centers have gone down.
No word on what has happened
In a statement on Twitter, shared a couple of days back, Garmin said it is working to resolve the issue but did not share anything else. The folks at ZDNet, however, claim that the company has fallen victim to a massive ransomware attack. It reportedly locked Garmin's internal network, forcing the company to shut down everything for a few days for repair and maintenance.
Here are the tweets from Garmin
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
WastedLocker malware used?
While the company remains silent, ZDNet says that its employees have confirmed that the outage stems from an attack by a strain of ransomware called WastedLocker. As per MalwareBytes, the ransomware typically targets US-based companies and demands massive amounts - on the scale of millions of dollars - in Bitcoins in exchange for returning access to their locked data.