Security & Fraud

Ransomware Attack Prompts Shutdown At Smartwatch Firm Garmin

Garmin

Fitness watch and GPS maker Garmin Ltd. shut down its website and global call centers on Thursday (July 23) following a ransomware attack, The Guardian reported.

Garmin issued an apology on its website and Twitter. The company said it is planning to provide maintenance to its website on Friday (July 24) and Saturday (July 25), to deal with the attack.

“We are experiencing an outage that affects Garmin.com and Garmin Connect,” the company said in a statement. “This outage also affects our call centers 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.”

The attack on the Kansas-based company had a significant impact on its Garmin Connect service which allows users to synchronize their running, swimming and cycling activities with a smartphone app to monitor performance.

It’s unclear whether the breach involved the loss of customer data, the newspaper reported.

In addition to consumer wearables, ZDNet.com reported flyGarmin, the web service that supports the company’s aviation navigational equipment, was also down.

Pilots said they were unable to download Garmin’s aviation database on their Garmin airplane navigational systems, the website reported.

The Federal Aviation Administration requires pilots to have the latest version of the database on their navigation devices when they fly.

The Garmin Pilot app, which is used to schedule and plan flights, was also hit by the attack.

For now, Garmin users have taken to social media sites to share tips on how to save data.

Earlier this year, Koninklijke Philips, the Amsterdam-based health technology company, complained to the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) about possible patent infringement  by Garmin and Fitbit.

In February, PYMNTS reported the Apple Watch outsold the Swiss watch industry in 2019, according to a report by Strategy Analytics. Apple Watch shipped 30.7 million smartwatches worldwide last year, compared with 21.1 million for all Swiss watch brands combined.

“Analog wristwatches remain popular among older consumers, but younger buyers are tipping toward smartwatches and computerized wristwear,” Strategy Analytics said in its report.

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