What can we learn from the Garmin ransomware attack?

For almost a week, Garmin users were unable to access their Garmin Connect accounts. This meant they couldn’t upload workouts or automatically sync activities to Strava! Sure, it’s easy enough to do the old way with a USB data cable, but that’s beside the point. We all know now that Garmin were cyber attacked by Russian hackers, got locked out of their data and were subject to an insane ransom demand.

Because if it’s not on Strava…

We also know that Garmin are now back online (or at least rolling out updates) and have access to their data. What we don’t know is whether they paid the ransom or not. Did Garmin pay $10 million to Russian hackers? It’s a drop in the ocean to them, but also illegal, immoral and a PR nightmare. Hmmm.

UPDATE: Garmin paid the ransom…

So what can we learn from this? Well for starters, our data is not safe. Garmin is a MULTI BILLION DOLLAR international tech company with top level security. They have big dollar contracts in the automotive, outdoor, fitness, aviation, and marine industries. They. Got. Hacked. Our data, your data, my data. Potentially stolen.

Sharing your ride to social sites is part of cycling culture these days!

So are hackers a threat to us everyday guys and gals? Yes. Not to the same extent as a global company with deep pockets of course, but the danger is real and it is out there. Now is a VERY good time to do an online security audit on yourself.

Do you use the same password for Garmin as other sites? Have you been using the same password for years and years? Are your passwords a little too easy? Let this Garmin debacle be a reminder to change passwords and check privacy settings. On a slightly related note, now is a good time to ensure you have Strava privacy zones.

See: Update your Strava privacy settings!

Also, plug your email address into the following website. It’ll search the database and tell you if that email address has been linked to any website account security breaches. I put my email address in and found a couple of results!

haveibeenpwned.com

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve used MySpace. Hahaha!

We all love to ride. We all love to record our rides. It’s part of cycling. The recent Garmin hack might have just been a minor inconvenience for us consumers, but I’m sure it was an epic headache for Garmin. So check up on your privacy and security settings. Check ALL the online accounts you use regularly. Who knows who’s after your data. Ride hard. Ride safe.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. its mad how we just put our blind faith in the security of every website we use

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s actually pretty scary how many different websites have our personal information.

      Like

  2. bgddyjim says:

    Ugh. Ditto Paul.

    Like

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