Garmin, a smartwatch maker, has reportedly been attacked by ransomware, a malware wherein attackers would encrypt their server and would only give them the decryption key if they pay a certain amount.
Garmin is Forced to Shut Down Online Services
In a report by The Guardian, the tech company has been forced to shut down its online services, including call centers, customer support via email and chat, and their website.
Those who have a Garmin smartwatch are also unable to use the Garmin Connect service, which the company relies on to synchronize data for their sporting activities, as the company also has to shut it down after the alleged attack.
"We are currently experiencing an outage that affects Garmin.com and Garmin Connect," the company said in a statement posted on their official Twitter account. "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."
Sure enough, the incident did not go unnoticed by the company's customers.
Company's Aviation Services Affected
According to ZDNet, the attack has also affected several other services by Garmin, including their flyGarmin, an aviation database service that supports aviation navigational equipment.
Pilots told the news outlet that they were unable to download the up-to-date version of Garmin's aviation database on their navigational systems, required as an FAA requirement.
Furthermore, the Garmin Pilot app is also down, causing more issues for them as they use the software to plan and schedule their flights.
Some production lines in Asia have also been negatively affected by the attack.
As of writing, there is no word whether the ransomware attack involved any loss or leak of confidential customer data.
Recently, cybercriminals behind these ransomware attacks have changed their modus and also began stealing confidential data from their victims.
Ransomware Attack Not Yet Confirmed
Additionally, the company has not officially disclosed the reason behind the shutdown, and they declined to confirm any ransomware attack, but people who work with the company described it as such through their social media posts.
The employees said it was a new strain of ransomware, known as WastedLocker, which appeared earlier this year.
Nevertheless, a leaked internal memo from Garmin's IT staff to their Taiwan factories announced that they would be holding maintenance on Friday and Saturday, July 24 and 25, due to problems caused by a "virus," according to the sources of Taiwanese tech site, iThome.
To help their fellow Garmin users, some are taking to social media to share tips on how they could save some information, including bike ride and run data, while the service they use is still down, which includes the company's partner services like Strava.
When ransomware attackers target a system, they would often provide the terms, including the amount of the ransom and until when the victims could pay up.
If they are unable to meet the attacker's requirements, they could wipe out all the data they were able to encrypt or even leak confidential data online.