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Garmin hit by outages after ransomware attack, navigation tools down

Garmin, which provides navigation and tracking tools to individuals as well as commercial services, is suffering network glitches after a possible attack by a ransomware.

twitter-logoIndia Today Tech | July 26, 2020 | Updated 12:00 IST

Highlights

  • For over a day now, Garmin services are not available.
  • Garmin is currently experiencing an outage that affects Garmin services including Garmin Connect and Garmin Pilot.
  • There are reports that Garmin has been hit by ransomware, though the company hasnít confirmed it.

For over a day now Garmin Connect and Garmin Pilot are unavailable. These are navigation and location tracking services that not just individuals but also professionals like pilots and shipping industry professionals. While Garmin has confirmed the outage, it has not talked of why its services have disruption. Reports are saying that the company has been hit by ransomware and that its services have been disabled by hackers.

Ransomware is the kind of software that hackers use to get into a company's IT infrastructure and then take control. They then often ask for ransom from the company before giving the control back to the company's IT department. Garmin now only provides navigation tools for professionals but also sells fitness tracking devices and route trackers to individuals.

In a statement on July 25, the company said: "Garmin is currently experiencing an outage that affects Garmin services including Garmin Connect and Garmin Pilot. As a result of the outage, some features and services across these platforms are unavailable to customers. Additionally, our product support call centres are affected by the outage and as a result, we are currently unable to receive any calls, emails or online chats."

The details of what is going on with Garmin services are few at the moment but some reports note that the attack on the company's systems has been carried out by hackers using WastedLocker, a ransomware that MalwareBytes, a cyber-security firm, detailed in May this year. Reports note WastedLocker is managed by a group of hackers calling themselves Evil Corp, which is based in Russia. Evil Corp in the past has sought ransom as high as $10 million after locking out a company from its IT systems.

"WastedLocker is a new ransomware operated by a malware exploitation gang commonly known as the Evil Corp gang. The same gang that is associated with Dridex and BitPaymer," MalwareBytes noted in May. "The attacks performed using WastedLocker are highly targeted at very specific organizations. The ransomware name is derived from the filename it creates which includes an abbreviation of the victim's name and the string wasted."

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