Garmin has been experiencing issues for the last four or five days (Garmin)

Millions of Garmin users have been unable to access the company’s apps or services over the last few days following what’s believed to be a devastating cyberattack.

While Garmin hasn’t offered any explanation for the outage, the GPS navigation company says it is working to restore its systems as quickly as possible.

‘Garmin has no indication that this outage has affected your data, including activity, payment or other personal information,’ the company says in an FAQ posted on its website.

Some users are reporting that Garmin’s services are gradually coming back online.

But reports have begun to surface the company was (or is) being held to ransom for the return of its systems. Specifically, by a gang of Russian hackers known as ‘Evil Corp’.

Evil Corp is believed to be asking for a $10 million (£7.79m) ransom to relinquish control of Garmin’s network. The group is headed up by 33-year-old  Maksim Yakubets. Yakubets is a playboy who drives a customized $250,000 Lamborghini and is the subject of a $5 million bounty from the FBI.

Maksim Yakubets drives a customised Lamborghini supercar with a personalised number plate that translates to ‘Thief’ (National Crime Agency)

Why the outfit would target Garmin isn’t clear, and the company hasn’t responded to the claims.

Analysts say that ransomware called WastedLocker could be behind the problems at Garmin. Ransomware is a popular kind of malware that spreads and takes control of a company’s system before encrypting it and demanding payment before it’s released.

Garmin is known for Garmin Connect, which works with the company’s fitness trackers to map out exercise and flyGarmin which contains up-to-date aviation databases for pilots to use. Both have been affected by the supposed hack.

Brent Callow, a threat analyst at the security firm Emsisoft, said he had no firsthand knowledge but that it ‘certainly has all the hallmarks of a ransomware incident.’

Cybersecurity researcher @GrujaRS tweeted screenshots on July 25, showing the firm has been hit with WastedLocker (GrujaRS/Twitter)
A screenshot posted by BleepingComputer, the computer help site, of an encrypted Garmin computer (BleepinComputer/Twitter)

‘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 told MailOnline.

WastedLocker is supposedly developed and used by Evil Corp as a way to attack organisations. It was reportedly blocked from deploying it against dozens of US corporations last year.

Evil Corp has been active since at least 2007, but so far it doesn’t look like anyone from the group – let alone Yakubets himself – has claimed responsibility for the attack.





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