Garmin allegedly paid for a decryptor for WastedLocker ransomware

BleepingComputer researchers confirmed that Garmin has received the decryption key to recover their files encrypted with the WastedLocker Ransomware.

BleepingComputer first revealed that Garmin has received the decryption key to recover the files encrypted with the WastedLocker Ransomware in the recent attack.

On July 23, smartwatch and wearables maker Garmin has shut down several of its services due to a ransomware attack that targeted its internal network and some production systems.

The outage also impacted the company call centers, making it impossible for the company to provide information to its users.

Most of the services used by customers of the company rely on the Garmin Connect service to sync data about runs and bike rides with its servers.

Even if the company did not provide technical details of the outage, several employees shared details about the alleged ransomware attack on social media.

Some employees later told BleepingComputer that the ransom demand was $10 million.

Some employees speculate the involvement of a new strain of ransomware called WastedLocker

On July 27, the company announced that its computer networks were coming back after the ransomware attack.

Now BleepingComputer confirmed the malware family involved in the attack was the Wastedlocker ransomware after it has gained access to an executable created by the Garmin IT department to decrypt a workstation.

This means that the company allegedly paid the ransomware operators to obtain the decryptors for its files.

“To obtain a working decryption key, Garmin must have paid the ransom to the attackers. It is not known how much was paid, but as previously stated, an employee had told BleepingComputer that the original ransom demand was for $10 million.” reported BleepingComputer.

“When extracted, this restoration package includes various security software installers, a decryption key, a WastedLocker decryptor, and a script to run them all.”

Experts reported that upon executing the restoration package, it decrypts the files stored on the computer and then installs security software. 

Bleepingcomputer reported that the script used by Garmin has a timestamp of 07/25/2020, a circumstance that suggests the company paid the ransom between July 24th and July 25th.

BleepingComputer researchers were able to encrypt a virtual machine using the sample of WastedLocker involved in the Garmin attack, then tested the decryptor.

The decryptor used by the company includes references to cybersecurity firm Emsisoft and ransomware negotiation service firm Coveware.

Both companies did not comment on this ransomware attacks

Emsisoft team is able to develop custom ransomware decryptors when the ransomware operators provide the victims the decryptor after the payment of the ransomware.

“If the ransom has been paid but the attacker-provided decryptor is slow or faulty, we can extract the decryption code and create a custom-built solution that decrypts up to 50 percent faster with less risk of data damage or loss,” Emsisoft’s ransomware recovery services page states.

Garmin did not comment the story.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – Garmin, wastedlocker ransomware)

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Pierluigi Paganini

Pierluigi Paganini is member of the ENISA (European Union Agency for Network and Information Security) Threat Landscape Stakeholder Group and Cyber G7 Group, he is also a Security Evangelist, Security Analyst and Freelance Writer. Editor-in-Chief at "Cyber Defense Magazine", Pierluigi is a cyber security expert with over 20 years experience in the field, he is Certified Ethical Hacker at EC Council in London. The passion for writing and a strong belief that security is founded on sharing and awareness led Pierluigi to find the security blog "Security Affairs" recently named a Top National Security Resource for US. Pierluigi is a member of the "The Hacker News" team and he is a writer for some major publications in the field such as Cyber War Zone, ICTTF, Infosec Island, Infosec Institute, The Hacker News Magazine and for many other Security magazines. Author of the Books "The Deep Dark Web" and “Digital Virtual Currency and Bitcoin”.

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