Tech | July 26, 2020 12:57 pm

Garmin Faces $10 Million Ransomware Decision

It's affected a wide range of products

Garmin HQ
Garmin's headquarters.
Terry Umbenhaur/Creative Commons

What happens when you’re a technology company with a wide variety of acclaimed products out in the world — products that involve plenty of data and offer their users an impressive degree of precision — and suddenly see that put at risk? That’s the position Garmin currently finds itself in. At Forbes, Barry Collins reports that Garmin is facing a ransomware attack that’s made many of its products, from aviation software to fitness trackers, temporarily unusable. Which puts them in an impossible position: do they wait out the attack, or pay $10 million to have it alleviated?

A ZDNet article from earlier this week details the scope of the attack:

The company is currently planning a multi-day maintenance window to deal with the attack’s aftermath, which includes shutting down its official website, the Garmin Connect user data-syncing service, Garmin’s aviation database services, and even some production lines in Asia.

According to the Forbes article, the ransomware attack encrypted the company’s data, and the hackers responsible for the attack have asked for $10 million for the data to be freed up. This information also comes from a report at BleepingComputer, which cites WastedLocker malware as the culprit.

This isn’t the only high-profile hack involving WastedLocker to take place in the last year. A ZDNet report from June notes that malware group Evil Corp. began launching attacks with WastedLocker earlier this year. One area where WastedLocker differs from similar types of attacks: there’s no data theft component involved.

For now, Garmin faces a difficult decision — and it’s one that several other companies have also had to wrestle with in recent months.

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