Garmin outage: did Garmin pay the ransom to revive Garmin Connect? – T3 (US)

After almost a week of suspense, it seems the Garmin Outage story is finally over at least for now. In the Garmin Connect app, instead of the ominous 'Server Maintenance' warning window, Garmin watch users are relieved to see a different message:

(Image credit: Future)

As relieved as we all are, we can't help but wonder: did Garmin pay the $10 million ransom, as requested by the 'Evil Corp', or have the developers found a way to eliminate the threat somehow without paying the money? The Times suggests "Garmin must have paid a large ransom to recover computer files stolen by hackers", but until any official communication is received from Garmin, we can't be sure.

The Garmin outage has been the hottest topic last weekend in running and cycling circles but it seems like the panic is over and everyone can calm down finally as Garmin announced on Twitter that "many of the systems and services affected by the recent outage, including Garmin Connect, are returning to operation".

However, the company also added that "some features still have temporary limitations while all of the data is being processed".

The ransomware attack on Garmin thought to be the work of 'Evil Corp', a group of Russian hackers who allegedly mainly targets US corporations, The Guardian reports. Garmin services started to go offline Thursday 23 July 2020 and many of the most popular services, including Garmin Connect and most of the Strava integrations, were unavailable to users over the weekend period.

Check out Garmin's 'Outage FAQ'

As reported by The Independent on Monday morning, Garmin Connect was supposedly coming back to life, although at that point most users still reported issues with Garmin Connect. The website and the Garmin webshop was available, however.

Garmin issued a few statements on Twitter, stating the outage also affected its call centers and that they were unable to receive any calls, emails and also couldn't fire up online chats either, making a lot of Garmin watch users rather anxious.

In case you are worried about your personal information being leaked due to the attack, on its FAQ page, Garmin reassured users that there has been "no indication that this outage has affected [the users] data, including activity, payment or other personal information." That is not the same as saying your data definitely hasnt been stolen, but its a lot better than nothing. But never mind that, what about your run and cycle data? Is it lost forever?

The following services and features are online:

The following services and features are online but might have limited functionality:

Strava services are also limited at the moment:

(Image credit: Garmin)

As many people also pointed out, workouts can be directly uploaded to Strava using a USB cable but we wonder how many people actually went through the hassle of manually uploading their workouts this way when they could have just waited five days for the issue to be resolved.

Despite the fact you can't upload data to Garmin Connect, most Garmin watches have the ability to store training data on the device so you can still log exercises and sync them with Garmin Connect once you can.

The Garmin Fenix 6 Pro, for example, has 32GB of internal memory, plenty of space to store hundreds of workouts. Cheaper Garmin watches have way less, of course, so maybe dont try for any personal bests until this gets fixed.

(Image credit: Garmin)

The Garmin Outage has been going on since last Thursday when initially users noticed that certain Garmin online services are unavailable (making my life harder too as I was halfway through writing up my Garmin Instinct Solar review). Since then, Garmin issued the following statement on its Garmin outage FAQ page:

"Garmin Ltd. was the victim of a cyber attack that encrypted some of our systems on July 23, 2020. As a result, many of our online services were interrupted including website functions, customer support, customer facing applications, and company communications. We immediately began to assess the nature of the attack and started remediation.

We have no indication that any customer data, including payment information from Garmin Pay, was accessed, lost or stolen. Additionally, the functionality of Garmin products was not affected, other than the ability to access online services. Affected systems are being restored and we expect to return to normal operation over the next few days.

As our affected systems are restored, we expect some delays as the backlog of information is being processed. We are grateful for our customers patience and understanding during this incident and look forward to continuing to provide the exceptional customer service and support that has been our hallmark and tradition."

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Garmin outage: did Garmin pay the ransom to revive Garmin Connect? - T3 (US)

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