Thousands of Car Dealerships Impacted by Cyberattacks

Thousands of Car Dealerships Impacted by Cyberattack

( – Cybercrime has continued to pose an issue in the US and globally, prompting the Office of the National Cyber Director (ONCD) to release a historic report in May to begin addressing the challenges. However, that didn’t prevent criminals from launching cyberattacks on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 18 and 19, against CDK Global, impacting thousands of auto dealership locations in the US nationwide.

CDK Global provides car dealerships nationwide with software tools to manage their sales and parts inventories, payrolls, sales activities, insurance, and other office functions through the platform’s dealer management system (DMS). The cloud-based system allows dealerships to remotely store and back up sensitive data, including customer information.

CDK has previously touted its three-tier cybersecurity strategy to ensure its clients’ data remains safe. However, analysts detected a breach on Tuesday evening, prompting them to shut down the DMS, including CDK’s data centers, login systems, and IT support. The outage affected 15,000 dealerships.

On Wednesday, CDK spokesperson Lisa Finney explained that client security always remained the company’s “first priority.” She added that the company was addressing the matter and had shut down access to most of its systems “Out of an abundance of caution.”

Dealerships nationwide reacted negatively, with some demanding that CDK simply “Pay the ransom.” The company has not disclosed whether the breach was a ransomware attack. However, It said it had restored the DMS core by late Wednesday afternoon and was “continuing to conduct extensive tests” on related systems.

Unfortunately, the hackers struck again Wednesday night, forcing CDK to take its systems offline again. A CDK notification said that after proactively suspending system operations again, the company was “assessing the overall impact” in concert “with third-party experts.”

Dealers calling the customer support line often received a continuous busy signal. However, a recorded message told them the company couldn’t provide an estimated date to resolve the problem, warning them it could take several days.

Some dealers had resorted to using spreadsheets and sticky notes locally to enable them to carry out parts sales and service portions of their businesses. However, most remained unable to perform more significant functions, like selling new automobiles.

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