Major Cyber Attack Disrupts Thousands of Car Dealerships Across the US

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A major cyber attack tar­get­ed one of the lead­ing auto­mo­tive soft­ware sup­pli­ers, CDK Glob­al, leav­ing over 15,000 car deal­er­ships offline and unable to serve cus­tomers. Hack­ers broke into CDK’s sys­tems late on June 19th, gain­ing access to sen­si­tive cus­tomer finan­cial data and deal­ing capabilities.

CDK Glob­al pro­vides crit­i­cal soft­ware that deal­er­ships rely on for vehi­cle sales, financ­ing, insur­ance, repairs, and main­te­nance. Key clients impact­ed includ­ed Gen­er­al Motors deal­ers. In an abun­dance of cau­tion, CDK shut down most sys­tems to secure net­works and cus­tomer information.

Deal­ers strug­gled with­out access to dig­i­tal sys­tems. Some resort­ed to man­u­al meth­ods using paper and spread­sheets. The out­age under­scored auto retail­ers’ depen­den­cy on tech­nol­o­gy for dai­ly oper­a­tions. It remained unclear if cus­tomer data was com­pro­mised or stolen dur­ing the attack.

CDK worked around the clock to restore core func­tions. By June 20th, doc­u­ment man­age­ment and e‑retailing apps returned online, though most appli­ca­tions required exten­sive test­ing. The full inci­den­t’s impact may not be known for some time.

Cyber­se­cu­ri­ty experts believe it exhib­it­ed signs of ran­somware. Giv­en CDK’s role serv­ing over 15,000 deal­er­ships, even tem­po­rary dis­rup­tions can sig­nif­i­cant­ly impede the U.S. car indus­try. The attack high­light­ed ongo­ing risks faced by inter­con­nect­ed busi­ness­es and consumers.

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