Garmin confirms its smartwatch outage is a cyber-attack

  • Smartwatch provider Garmin is in the process of recovering from a cyber-attack that's believed to have been a ransomware attack.

    If you own a Garmin smartwatch, you've no-doubt found that it went offline last week. The GPS-based tracker is used by runners and cyclists around the world to track their activity, and last year Irish fintech company Prepaid Financial Services (PFS) rolled out a Garmin Pay solution in the UK to allow contactless payments via the smartwatch.

    The watch's online platform suffered an outage last week, and employees of the firm leaked on social media that the company had been hit with a ransomware attack. The company has now confirmed officially that it is dealing with a cyber attack, but has not yet confirmed that it's been asked for ransom.

    Ransomware attacks are a worst case scenario for many data-oriented companies like Garmin. An attacker who gains access to the company's databases through a security vulnerability can either threaten to release sensitive or private data they found or erase valuable customer data and demand payment to restore it.

    Garmin is in the process of recovering from the attack and bringing its services back online, with some limited smartwatch functionality available so far and the rest expected to recover within the next few days. The company didn't confirm whether it had paid a ransom or simply had a robust backup strategy in place that it could restore from.

    Source: BBC News

    About the author

    Brendan is a Sync NI writer with a special interest in the gaming sector, programming, emerging technology, and physics. To connect with Brendan, feel free to send him an email or follow him on Twitter.

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