Garmin Smartwatch Suffers Global Outage Due to Suspected Ransomware Attack

Garmin smartwatches and fitness bands services are facing a major outage globally. While the company has confirmed that the Garmin Connect app and website were down due to the outage, it hasn’t provided any further clarity. However, it is believed to be due to a ransomware attack that took place on July 23. The outage has affected not just Garmin devices but also its call centers and support network across the globe.

It has been over 22 hours since the outage was first reported by Garmin on Thursday. “We are currently experiencing an outage that affects Garmin Connect, and as a result, the Garmin Connect website and mobile app are down at this time,” the company said in a tweet while announcing the issue. It added by saying that the outage also affects its call centres.

“We are working to resolve this issue as quickly as possible and apologise for this inconvenience,” Garmin said.

A notice has also been provided on the Garmin Connect website stating the same message that was posted on Twitter. Furthermore, the Garmin Connect app, which establishes a connection between Garmin fitness devices and smartphones, is giving an error message saying it’s down for maintenance. Several users have complained about the hours-long outage on Twitter and other social media platforms.

ZDNet reports that apart from Garmin’s consumer wearables, flyGarmin, which is the company’s Web service that works with its aviation navigation devices, has also been impacted by the issue. This means many pilots aren’t able to use their navigation gear. Similarly, the Garmin Pilot app that allows flyers to schedule and plan their flights was down since the issue impacted the company’s other services.

The failure in service seems to have surfaced due to a new strain of ransomware called WastedLocker that impacted the IT infrastructure of Garmin. According to an internal memo reportedly from Garmin’s IT staff in Taiwan, which has been posted by ITHome, its factories have been down in the country for two days of maintenance to deal with the issue. It is said to be a result of a “virus”, though content details aren’t available in the reported memo.

Some sites are speculating that historical data is missing from the Connect database, which is understandably leading to worries that user data has been compromised. However, there has been no suggestion at this point that user data has been taken by hackers.

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