Cyberattack disrupts auto dealerships across North America

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A cyberattack targeting CDK Global has significantly disrupted IT operations at numerous auto dealerships across Canada and the US. CDK Global, which provides software services to 15,000 auto retail locations in North America, has been forced to shut down its systems, impacting thousands of dealerships.

On Wednesday, employees at car dealerships across the US began experiencing issues with CDK’s software. This software is integral to managing car sales, finances, and other dealership operations.

The disruption has forced many dealerships to resort to manual operations. For example, a Hyundai dealer reported sending home its business development center employees due to the inability to schedule service appointments. Another employee mentioned that they could only perform oil changes, as parts lookup systems were tied to CDK’s software.

The cyberattack has led dealerships to use handwritten documents and paper contracts, significantly slowing down their operations. Some dealerships have been forced to halt most operations entirely, as their systems remain offline.

CDK Global has confirmed the cyberattack but has not provided specific details about the nature of the attack or whether ransomware is involved. The company told Bloomberg that it had to shut down all systems to conduct extensive testing. Despite efforts to restore access to their core products, CDK reported an “additional cyber incident” on Wednesday evening, leading to further shutdowns.

CDK Global has informed its customers that most systems remain down and that it could take several days to resolve the issue. The company’s customer care channels are also unavailable as a precautionary measure to maintain security.

This cyberattack highlights the vulnerability of critical IT infrastructure in the automotive industry. As dealerships rely heavily on integrated software solutions for their operations, such disruptions can have a cascading effect on sales, service, and customer satisfaction.

The ongoing cyberattack on CDK Global serves as a stark reminder of the importance of cybersecurity measures in protecting business operations. Dealerships across the US are currently facing significant operational challenges as they await resolution.

 

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