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Garmin blackout drags on as hackers ask for $10 million

Joe Robinson
27 Jul 2020

Some systems seem to be returning, however Garmin could be forced into forking out $10m for its data

The Garmin blackout continues with hackers reportedly asking for US$10 million to release the company's online systems and communications.

The American GPS and navigation brand's entire online systems plunged into darkness on Thursday following what was being reported as a ransomware cyberattack.

The attack saw all of the brand's systems, everything from internal systems to its Garmin Connect app, shut down with the brand issuing a short statement via its social media confirming the blackout.

Since then, Garmin has confirmed to tech website BleepingComputer that the ransomware attack came via WastedLocker, a system operated by a Russian-based cyber gang called Evil Corp.

The gang is claimed to have contacted Garmin requesting they email one of two email addresses 'to get a price for your data', believed to be in the region of $10 million. 

For cyclists, the biggest impact will have been the outage of Garmin Connect, the online app that helps bridge rider data from GPS computers to the web and third-party apps such as Strava

However, with Garmin's navigation systems being used commercially by the aviation, expedition, marine and automotive sectors, it is reasonable to say that the temporary restriction of systems will have been felt more keenly here. 

As of Monday morning, some of Garmin's systems seemed to be resuming slight service with online blogger DC Ray Maker tweeting that Garmin Connect was working in part although its site status page was still down. 

Whether Garmin has stumped up the $10 million ransom sum is unclear, and while most likely affordable for the company, if it does pay it will be breaking US law that sanctions the payment of ransomware demands.

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