Garmin Outage May Be Ransomware Attack

Here's how you can still get your activity files during the Garmin outage.

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UPDATE: July 27, 2020

Garmin is reporting that its systems are back up and running, though there may continue to be some issues as data is being processed.

The company also reported it had “no indication that any customer data, including payment information from Garmin Pay, was accessed, lost or stolen” during the cyberattack that took down their systems.

Original story:

Garmin users have likely noticed that they haven’t been able to sync or upload their runs and rides since late Wednesday night. The company confirmed the outage in a tweet on Thursday and in a statement on the Garmin Connect website:

They also noted the outage was affecting their call centers and customer service as well. “We are currently unable to receive any calls, emails or online chats. We are working to resolve this issue as quickly as possible and apologize for this inconvenience,” the statement read.

Garmin has not said anything else about what is causing the ongoing outage, but ZDNet, a technology news site, has reported that it appears to be the result of a ransomware attack. They noted that several Garmin employees have said online that the outage is a product of a new strain of ransomware. (Ransomware attacks are a kind of cyberattack where malware is used to hold data or systems hostage until a ransom is paid.)

Garmin has not commented on the ransomware claims.

However, the outage is far more widespread than it initially appeared. It is also affecting Garmin’s aviation navigation equipment, with pilots noting flyGarmin is also down and they are unable to run updates as required by the FAA or use the app to schedule and manage flights. A Taiwanese tech site also shared an internal memo Garmin staff sent to its factories announcing two days of maintenance mode for Friday and Saturday.

It is not known yet if user personal information has been compromised.

While this is causing angst among athletes—Strava activities are notably down as many people rely on auto-syncing to upload their workouts—fear not: You can still get your workouts off your watch or bike computer.

To access a workout file, simply plug your watch or bike computer into your computer using a USB cord (micro or mini as appropriate). You can then open the device as a USB device and pull the file off out of the “Activities” folder—labeled with the correct date. Then upload that .fit file to Strava or Training Peaks or whatever platform you use. For watches that are music-enabled, you may have to download a file transfer program if you’re on a Mac in order for the Mac to recognize the device as a USB device. (DC Rainmaker has more detailed instructions for accessing files during the Garmin outage.)

Garmin does not yet have a timeline for when the outage will be resolved.

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