The Taiwan office of the GPS and wearable device manufacturer Garmin Ltd yesterday declined to confirm if a service outage had been the result of a ransomware attack, saying that it is working to restore its systems as quickly as possible.
Following reports that the company was the target of cyberattacks, the Olathe, Kansas-based multinational technology company said that it is working to resolve the issue and is unable to give an estimate of when its services would resume.
Garmin’s product support call centers have been unable to receive any telephone calls, e-mails or online chats, as they are also affected by the outage, Garmin said in a separate statement.
The affected services include the health and physical training app Garmin Connect and the pilot navigational support app flyGarmin, the company said.
Customer data related to Garmin Connect would not be lost, as they are stored on the devices and would reappear when a user syncs their device once the service resumes, Garmin said.
The company also said that there is no clear indication that any payment or personal information has been stolen.
“Garmin has no indication that this outage has affected your data, including activity, payment or other personal information,” the company said in a statement.
Some tech Web sites have reported that the company has been hit by a ransomware attack, in which hackers block a victim’s access to its own data unless a ransom is paid.
ZDNet reported that after the incident began early on Thursday, “several Garmin employees took to social media to share details about the attack, all calling it a ransomware attack.”
“ZDNet has interviewed several [employees] and confirmed their claims,” the tech Web site said.
Employees writing on social media indicated that the company was attacked by WastedLocker ransomware and has been asked to pay US$10 million, according to news reports.
The attack has severely affected the company’s systems, while all of its computers have been shut down to stop the spread of the ransomware, the reports said.
Fitness enthusiasts took to social media to vent their frustration about not being able to use the service.
Some runners said online that while the outage does not stop them from training, not being able to use Garmin Connect means they cannot track their workout data or share their routes on Strava, a social network for runners and cyclists.
Forbes magazine described the incident as “a particularly painful episode.”
Additional reporting by AFP and AP
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