Garmin confirms cyberattack caused five-day wearables outage

28 Jul 2020

A Garmin smartwatch. Image: © Danil Nikonov/

The wearables company confirmed reports of a cyberattack that resulted in a five-day outage and said systems are now being restored.

Garmin has said that a recent five-day outage affecting its wearable technologies was the result of a cyberattack, confirming reports made during the course of the incident.

The company released a statement yesterday (27 July) informing customers that it was “the victim of a cyberattack” that encrypted some of its systems, which are used for GPS and fitness tracking.

“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,” the company said.

It added that there was no indication that any customer data, including payment information from Garmin Pay, was accessed, lost or stolen.

“Affected systems are being restored and we expect to return to normal operation over the next few days,” Garmin said. “We do not expect any material impact to our operations or financial results because of this outage.”

Restoring services

In recent days, there have been reports that the outage was caused by a ransomware attack call WastedLocker. However, Garmin’s latest statement did not reference a ransom.

The outage, which lasted from Thursday (23 July) to until yesterday, prevented users from syncing their device activity and exercise data for five days.

Early yesterday, Garmin said that “recovery is underway”, though some of its services still had limited functionality, according to the system status page. As of today (28 July), Garmin Connect and a number of other Garmin services are still operating at limited capacity.

In its statement on the cyberattack, Garmin added: “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.”

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic