Garmin Connect Service Taken Offline Following Ransomware Attack

Garmin has been hit by a ransomware attack that encrypted the smartwatch maker's internal servers, forcing it to shut down its call centers, website, and the Garmin Connect service, which users rely on to sync their activity via the mobile app.

garmin outage

Image: Victor Gevers

In messages shared on Twitter, the company apologized to users and gave details on the extent of the forced shutdown.

The attack also affected Garmin's aviation database service, flyGarmin, which supports aviation navigational equipment, and some production lines in Asia, according to ZDnet.com.

Officially, Garmin has not referred to the outage as the result of a ransomware attack, but company employees have since taken to Twitter and described it as such.


Taiwanese tech news site IThome published an internal memo from Garmin's IT department to its Taiwan-based factories announcing two days of maintenance on Friday and Saturday, which sources told the website was down to a "virus."

(Via The Guardian.)

Tag: Garmin

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Top Rated Comments

nwcs Avatar
50 months ago
It is the squirrel and bird feeder problem. If the squirrel wants to get the food it will spend as much time as it takes to foil whatever you setup as defenses. The squirrel also has a lot more time than you do to figure it out. Security is the same thing. The criminals simply have more time and motivation to breach the defenses.

They’re either paid by the state or doing it for some “cause” where companies have to actually be profitable and pay people. And doing full security on a large scale is simply difficult and expensive. You have layers of issues to deal with from hardware to software to wetware (people). Like with Twitter’s recent security issue, all it takes is one rogue employee (whether enticed or coerced) in the right place to thwart even the best security.

This should provide a warning for people that as we put more faith in online services and governments move to weaken security measures in the name of providing “security to the people” this puts the companies at a big disadvantage and these incidents will only get worse until something forces the industry to change in one form or another.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
minimo3 Avatar
50 months ago
You can spend tens of millions and hire the top security folks to implement the most sophisticated WAFs, patch all your servers, run static and dynamic scans, train your developers to write secure code to prevent XSS, SQL injection, pay a CDN to prevent DDOS, install IDS, but all it takes is 1 employee to click on an email attachment that looks legit (eg the FROM field lists the CFO) and their workstation can be compromised. From there the attacker can harvest their network domain password which probably has SSO across multiple systems and then slowly escalate their way to find privileged access to a critical system. So you might think that you could prevent this by eliminating any internet access for all employees - airwall. Even then its not secure, the Stuxnet worm was introduced into an Iranian nuclear reactor by someone plugging in a USB stick. So really the only way to secure your company is not to have any systems connected to the internet (you correspond with them via the postal service or Fax/telephone) and superglue shut all the USB ports, dvd drives, as well as disable Bluetooth, WiFi. Kinda hard to work like that though
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hortod1 Avatar
50 months ago

This is worrisome. Garmin is huge in the aviation industry. Thousands of pilots rely on their navigation equipment. Let's hope that side of their business is better protected.
Was just going to say the same thing. An outage of fitness products is an inconvenience. An outage of aviation products is a matter of flight safety.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GeoStructural Avatar
50 months ago
Cybersecurity has never been so prevalent and important. Many companies have a hard time recruiting capable people in a field that is ever changing and the most talented minds are usually not interested in that kind of job.

This is also a testament that you should not trust your data or your service rely on the infrastructure of any company... Garmin is a large enterprise and even them can suffer these attacks, I remember recently an app bugging me to use their cloud client, definitely not! I use OneDrive as main service, iCloud as backup and an old school SSD hard drive just in case.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nikon1 Avatar
50 months ago
When are businesses that are so internet dependent going to learn just how important security is, not only to their business but to their customers as well. It seems like many businesses consider connected security as just an afterthought, a “cost center that reduces their profitability” as opposed to a core cost to maintaining their business and customers security.

While I realize this sounds like a “Monday morning quarterback” comment, it doesn’t make it any less crucial.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacLawyer Avatar
50 months ago
This is worrisome. Garmin is huge in the aviation industry. Thousands of pilots rely on their navigation equipment. Let's hope that side of their business is better protected.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)