Massive Cyberattack Disrupts American Car Dealerships, Causing Chaos for Dealers and Customers

A massive cyberattack carried out by the notorious BlackSuit group has caused widespread chaos for American car dealerships, impacting both dealers and customers. The attack targeted CDK Global, a software provider that is vital to the functioning of the car dealer industry. CDK Global’s software is used by approximately 15,000 dealerships, accounting for a significant portion of all auto dealerships in the United States.

The cyberattack, which occurred on June 19, has resulted in dealerships being forced to handle essential tasks manually or, in some cases, not being able to handle them at all. This has had a significant impact on the operations of dealerships, particularly during the busy month of June, which includes the Juneteeth holiday.

The immediate consequences of the attack have led to estimated losses ranging from $4 billion to $16 billion. The disruption caused by the attack has affected various aspects of the dealership process, with in-house financing experiencing significant delays. While customers with outside bank financing or cash payments may not face as many issues, they should still expect slowdowns in other areas.

One of the most affected processes is the registration of vehicles with the local government. CDK software enables dealers to automate this process, but with the software offline, dealers and customers may need to make additional trips to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and endure longer wait times.

Additionally, CDK software is used for scheduling service appointments, managing parts inventory, and tracking service history. Although service departments are still functioning without the software, the manual process takes longer, and all paperwork needs to be entered once the software is restored. This situation could create challenges for service departments across multiple dealerships.

As a result of the attack, some dealerships have resorted to using pen-and-paper methods, which raise concerns about the security of customer information and potential identity theft risks. While the exact ransom demanded by the BlackSuit group remains undisclosed, reports suggest that it is substantial. Although some dealerships have regained access to their software, many others are still grappling with the impact of the cyberattack.

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