Garmin dealing with massive service outage after ransomware attack

Garmin Forerunner 245Source: Andrew Martonik / Android Central

If you’re having trouble syncing your phone with your Garmin smartwatch, it’s not your fault. Garmin Connect has been suffering an outage that has stretched on for several hours, starting at around 11:30 p.m. ET on July 22 according to comments on Twitter.

At first, the company tried to brush it as a maintenance issue that was being quickly addressed. As the hours stretched on, it eventually admitted it was suffering an outage that affected almost every consumer-facing area, including its app, site, and even customer support centers.

Interestingly, having Garmin’s backend service disrupted means that not only can you not use its cloud services, you can’t even sync your watch locally to the app. The outage is also keeping its forums and customer service offline; though we now know neither one is of much use because there is no fix for end users — we just have to wait for Garmin to figure things out.

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If you have activities on your Garmin watch that haven’t yet been synced and you’d like to get them uploaded to another service, like Strava, there’s a way to do so manually.

Just plug your Garmin watch into your computer, and navigate to it as if it were a drive or SD card. (If you’re on a Mac, you’ll need to use the Android File Transfer tool — yes, really — to browse the files.) Look for the “Activity” folder, scroll to the bottom and find the latest “.fit” files, and drag the files you want over to your computer. Services like Strava will happily upload a .fit file and generate a complete activity identical to what you’d see if Garmin uploaded it through the app.

Update, June 23 (2:50 pm ET) — The outage and downtime have been attributed to a ransomware attack

ZDNet reports that the outage is due to a ransomware attack. According to ITHome, Garmin expects services to remain down possibly through July 25th while it works to resolve the issue and secure user data.

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