Ransomware used to target individual users. Malicious files would creep into your PC, lock them up and demand money for their release. Turns out it’s hard to make money that way, which is why whole companies, hospitals and even cities are now being targeted. Garmin has now joined the ranks of those nailed by ransomware attacks — but if you’re an avid Garmin user you might know that already.
The problem kicked in over the weekend, with everything from the company’s website, Garmin Connect (which is used to sync Garmin devices), the company’s aviation flyGarmin databases, its call centres, and even some production facilities in Asia being affected. Website ZDNet reports that the widespread outage is the result of a ransomware attack, something that Garmin has not confirmed or denied on being queried.
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
Instead, Garmin said that it’s “experiencing an outage”, saying that investigations are ongoing as to the cause. That was over the weekend, but subsequent reports claim that the company’s systems are being held hostage to the tune of $10 million. That’s not a small amount of money, with the lockdown of Garmin’s services reportedly the fault of the WastedLocker ransomware.
BleepingComputer claims that the intrusion was first detected on Thursday last week. The ransomware in use was confirmed by Garmin employees who shared screens of the encrypted files. The ransom demand (above) was also shared by the website, suitably blurred out so no smart chaps contact the hackers on their own and gum up the works.
The reported amount of $10 million for the release of Garmin’s systems is an amount that has yet to be confirmed. Given how much damage this shutdown is doing to the company, though, the sum is probably looking almost reasonable at this point. Even if paying off the attackers is an absolutely terrible idea.