Russian hacker gang Evil Corp. may be behind days-long Garmin outage

A gang of Russian hackers may be behind the cyberattack that disabled Garmin’s fitness-tracking services for several days, reports say. The attackers reportedly crippled the smartwatch maker’s Garmin Connect service last week with malicious software tied to Evil Corp., a Moscow-based hacker group run by alleged cybercriminal Maksim Yakubets. Evil Corp. runs the WastedLocker ransomware …

A gang of Russian hackers may be behind the cyberattack that disabled Garmin’s fitness-tracking services for several days, reports say.

The attackers reportedly crippled the smartwatch maker’s Garmin Connect service last week with malicious software tied to Evil Corp., a Moscow-based hacker group run by alleged cybercriminal Maksim Yakubets.

Evil Corp. runs the WastedLocker ransomware responsible for the Garmin outage, which encrypts the target’s files and demands a ransom to unlock them, TechCrunch reported. Hackers have sought as much as $10 million to release affected data, though companies can get around such an attack if they’ve backed up the files, according to the outlet.

US officials accused Evil Corp. in December of targeting banks and financial institutions in more than 40 countries and stealing more than $100 million with its “Dridex” malware. The scheme led the feds to file a criminal complaint against Yakubets, Evil Corp.’s alleged ringleader who has ties to the Russian government.

Yakubets was working for Russia’s Federal Security Service as of 2017 and sought a license the following year to work with Russian classified information from the intelligence agency, officials said in December. The US State Department has offered a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture.

Kansas-based Garmin has yet to publicly confirm the cause of its outage. But by early Monday, the company had fully or partially restored all the features of its Garmin Connect platform, which lets fitness junkies track their workouts and personal health data through a smartphone app.

Garmin users reported on Twitter that the service was starting to come back to life after going dark for about four days. Some functions were running at a “limited” capacity or with delays, such as those that sync workout plans and wellness data between Garmin Connect and mobile devices, according to the platform’s status dashboard.

Garmin indicated that users shouldn’t fear losing data from bike rides or runs they did during the outage — it should appear on Garmin Connect once they sync their wearable device with the service.

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“Garmin has no indication that this outage has affected your data, including activity, payment or other personal information,” the company said in a statement posted on its website.

Garmin did not immediately respond to an email Monday morning asking when it expected to fix the remaining problems. The outage also left the company unable to answer phone calls, emails and online chat messages, it said last week.

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