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Garmin offline - ransomware or maintenance failure?

Paul Brislen, Editor. 27 July 2020, 5:00 am

GPS service provider Garmin has been offline and out of action for several days now with fitness users frustrated by both the lack of service and the lack of information from the company.

But Garmin isn't just fitness trackers and handheld GPS beacons - the company also provides service for the marine and aviation sectors and both are affected by the loss of service.

Garmin's website is fairly light on details, saying only that all services are offline as is its call centre, which would suggest a fairly sophisticated attack, if indeed this is an attack and not simply a hardware or software failure.

However, user data does not appear to be compromised at this point, says a message on the company website.

"Garmin has no indication that this outage has affected your data, including activity, payment or other personal information."

However several Garmin employees described the outage as a ransomware attack, according to tech publisher ZDNet.

"ZDNet has interviewed several and confirmed their claims. 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.

Some Garmin employees speaking online attributed the incident to a new strain of ransomware that appeared earlier this year, called WastedLocker."

Garmin has neither confirmed or denied it has been attacked in this way, saying only, "We are working to restore our systems as quickly as possible and apologize for the inconvenience. Additional updates will be provided as they become available."


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