Garmin Suffers Ransomware Attack

The Garmin Pilot app was among those affected by the outage over the period of July 23 to 27. Courtesy Les Abend

Garmin suffered a ransomware attack that encrypted some of its systems on July 23, 2020. Garmin Connext Service—and connectivity through and the Garmin Pilot app—were among those areas affected, though the SOS and inReach systems remained online and available.

In an update from the company posted on July 27, Garmin announced, “[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.” Company email and some customer service functions were also affected, with services restored on July 27 as well.

Pilots can find updates on the status of the company’s aviation products here. As of the evening of July 27, with flyGarmin back up and running, Garmin noted that the current nav data base is effective from July 16 to August 13, 2020, with the next nav data download available on August 6. Garmin Pilot was also operational, allowing pilots to once again file flight plans as before.

Based in Maryland, Julie is an editor, aviation educator, and author. She holds an airline transport pilot certificate with Douglas DC-3 and CE510 (Citation Mustang) type ratings. She's a CFI/CFII since 1993, specializing in advanced aircraft and flight instructor development. Follow Julie on Twitter @julieinthesky.

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