Yes, Garmin Connect is still down – the why is sketchy

Garmin's Connect app has been down for two days already, raising fears that user data might have been compromised.

Note: Since this is a story that is still developing, please check the publication date. It will be updated with new information. Last update: 25 July 2020. Read our latest article on the Garmin outage here

If you own a Garmin device and you’ve been trying to sync your device through your mobile phone, you might have seen the message of doom for the last two days.

Since Thursday, users have been unable to use the Garmin Connect app with a message “sorry, we’re down for maintenance” appearing without any real ETA on when things might return to normal. The issue, according to the message, also affects the company’s support channels like e-mail and call centres. According to reports, FlyGarmin, which is used by pilots to track flight data, was also down.

A message, posted on their Twitter account and later on the app read:

We are currently experiencing an outage that affects Garmin.com and Garmin Connect. This outage also affects our call centres, and 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.

Garmin Connect App Down

No official reason given why Garmin Connect is down

Garmin has made no official announcement on why the maintenance has taken so long, but several news reports suggested that the extended downtime suggests a ransomware attack has occurred.

AFP reported that  Brent Callow, a threat analyst at the security firm Emsisoft, said he had no first-hand knowledge but that it “certainly has all the hallmarks of a ransomware incident.”

“There is really no other event that would be likely to cause such widespread disruption and cause a company to immediately shut down everything from its online services to its production line,” Callow said. 

The security news website Bleeping Computer reported that a source familiar with the incident said Garmin was attacked by the WastedLocker ransomware.

Some reports have linked the malware to a Russian cybercriminal group known as Evil Corp.

Tech site ZDNet was the first to report that it could be related to a ransomware attack and reached out to Garmin for comment on Thursday. According to the site, a spokesperson “declined to confirm that it was caused by a ransomware attack”. The company said that an investigation was ongoing. Two days later, it seems that is still the case.

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Staff Reporter