Anyone who currently wants to synchronize a fitness band, sports watch or cycling computer from Garmin with the company’s own data cloud will have to be patient. Since Wednesday, the provider is affected by a – as it says on the company’s website – "Failure" affected Garmin.com and Garmin Connect. This also extends to the telephone exchanges, so that even calls do not reach the group. Even email retrieval is disrupted and online chats don’t work. A login on the Connect home page is also not possible.
In addition to Connect apps, the outage also affects services such as Garmin Express and FlyGarmin, for example. In an internal memo to Garmin Taiwan leaked to the Taiwanese news portal Ithome, it says that not only various IT departments and the company’s databases are paralyzed, but also the production lines of the devices.
Ransomware attack crippled everything?
The English-language version of the Connect app reported the outage, while the German-language version called the outage "a ransomware attack" "Maintenance".
While in English-language versions of the app there was already talk of failures yesterday, users of the German-language version of the Connect app have been left completely in the dark about the causes until now. At the start of the App was only from "maintenance work" the speech. In the meantime, a corresponding note can also be found in the German-language version of the app.
If the US colleagues of ZDNet have not been misinformed in their report, this is a ransomware attack. These attacks are not usually countered with routine maintenance work, but among other things with the shutdown of all systems, which is just to be perceived. Heise was also affected for days by an Emotet outage. In such attacks – with or without a demand for loose money – gross damage is generally done by encrypting data on servers in such a way that access by legitimate users is no longer possible.
A Garmin spokesperson, meanwhile, would not confirm a ransomware attack, but: some Garmin employees have unanimously cited just that in social media channels as the cause during the first hours of the outage. While the Taiwanese source considers a targeted attack on the production lines as a likely cause, a tweet from Tacx, a road bike roller trainer manufacturer recently acquired by Garmin, also fuels speculation that the origin of the compromised file appears to fall within its purview.
Failure probably lasts until Saturday
Garmin services to be back up and running Saturday, according to initial treasures. All in all, this attack could be grist to the mill of those users who have long been calling for fitness data to be better protected on third-party servers or better not to end up on third-party servers in the first place.