Here’s Everything That Went Down With Garmin’s Alleged Ransomware Attack – Men’s Health


Posted: July 30, 2020 at 12:54 pm

Garmin's services were completely knocked offline last week in an outage that could be the result of a potential ransomware attack. The fitness tech giant's outage left exercise enthusiasts unable to use the companys devices to quantify their workouts, leading to days of working out without syncable stats. Now, after almost four days of disconnection, it appears the companys services are slowly coming back online.

According to Gizmodo, Garmins website, app, and call centers were reportedly hit with what appears to be a ransomware attack on July 23. Soon after the outage was first reported, the company announced a multi-day maintenance to deal with the fallout.

The potential ransomware attack impacted the companys wearables and sportswear, which are popular among running and cycling communities. Garmins line of aviation navigational equipment, which helps pilots plan and schedule flights, was also impacted.

Users took to social media platforms to express frustration over the outageand also to connect with other "disconnected" fitness lovers via humor.

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Though Garmin has yet to verify the outage as a ransomware attack, ZDNet, which was first to report news of the outage, reported that Garmin employees from "across two continents were told by their local IT staff on Thursday to shut down computers as ransomware was being spread across several branches, via its interconnected internal network.

TechCrunch and BleepingComputer also report insider sources at Garmin confirmed the attack as a WastedLocker ransomeware attack. WastedLocker, according to TechCrunch, is a new type of ransomware that, like all ransomware, infects computers and locks the users files in exchange for a ransom, typically demanded in cryptocurrency. WastedLocker was reportedly created by a Russian hacker group known as Evil Corp.

BleepingComputer reports attackers demanded a $10 million ransom to restore Garmins services, though this claim couldnt be independently verified. Paying ransom related to malware attacks is discouraged by the FBI, and would be virtually impossible to do even if Garmin agreed due to sanctions by the government prohibiting transactions to Evil Corp.

On July 25, Garmin released a list of FAQs which answered some common user concerns. Garmin reported that activity and health and wellness data collected from Garmin devices during the outage is stored on the device and will appear in Garmin Connect once the user syncs their device. The brand also said there is no indication user data, including payment and personal information, was compromised during the outage.

Mens Health reached out to Garmin for more information on the situation.

As of July 27, many users report their weekend workouts starting to sync to their devices. It seems some users are experiencing more connectivity than others, with some users still reporting their devices are completely offline.

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But even if users are largely online in some capacity, many popular features, like syncing workouts to third-party social media site Strava, are still limited as of press time.

To keep track of what features are online and which still have limited connectivity, check out Garmins status page for a comprehensive breakdown.

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Here's Everything That Went Down With Garmin's Alleged Ransomware Attack - Men's Health

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