CDK says all auto dealers should be back online by Thursday after outage


Following a cyberattack, car dealership software company CDK Global plans to restore services to all dealers by Thursday, the company said in a statement Monday.

CDK offers cloud-based software to more than 15,000 auto dealerships across North America that manages vehicle acquisitions, sales, financing, insuring, repairs and maintenance. Restoration has been underway for more than a week after a June 19 cyberattack and reported ransom demand forced the company to shut down its systems.

“We are continuing our phased approach to the restoration process and are rapidly bringing dealers live on the Dealer Management System (DMS). We anticipate all dealers connections will be live by late Wednesday, July 3 or early morning Thursday, July 4,” CDK spokesperson Lisa Finney said to USA TODAY in an emailed statement, adding that the customer service channels have been restored for those experiencing issues.

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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JUNE 20: Cars sit on a Chevrolet dealership's lot on June 20, 2024 in Chicago, Illinois. A cyber attack on CDK Global, a software provider that helps dealerships manage sales and service, has crippled the workflow at approximately 15,000 dealerships across the United States and Canada.CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JUNE 20: Cars sit on a Chevrolet dealership's lot on June 20, 2024 in Chicago, Illinois. A cyber attack on CDK Global, a software provider that helps dealerships manage sales and service, has crippled the workflow at approximately 15,000 dealerships across the United States and Canada.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – JUNE 20: Cars sit on a Chevrolet dealership’s lot on June 20, 2024 in Chicago, Illinois. A cyber attack on CDK Global, a software provider that helps dealerships manage sales and service, has crippled the workflow at approximately 15,000 dealerships across the United States and Canada.

BlackSuit cybercriminal team reportedly behind cyberattack

Multiple outlets reported Recorded Future ransomware analyst Allan Liska identified BlackSuit as the hacking group behind the cyberattack on CDK. Recorded Future did not immediately respond to a Friday request for comment.

BlackSuit is a newer cybercriminal team that spun off an older, Russia-linked hacking group called RoyalLocker, according to Reuters. Security firm Recorded Future says the group has breached at least 95 organizations across the globe.

Cybercriminals targeting car dealerships

Cybercriminals are a growing threat to target car dealerships, with 17% of 175 surveyed dealers experiencing a cyberattack or incident within the past year, up from 15% the year prior, according to a 2023 CDK report. Of those dealers, 46% said the cyberattack had a negative financial or operational impact.

Dealerships have been an attractive target because of the vast amounts of sensitive customer data they hold. From credit applications to customer financial information, dealerships hold a treasure trove of information to hackers, according to a 2023 article from insurance company Zurich North America.

“In addition, dealership systems are often interconnected to external interfaces and portals, such as external service providers,” according to the report, and many dealerships “lack basic cyber security protections.”

Dealers reverted to pen and paper after CDK outage

Analysts say new car sales in June are likely to be down more than 5% compared to June 2023, partly due to the impact CDK’s shut down had on dealership operations.

Thad Szott, whose family owns dealerships in Michigan, told the Detroit Free Press the shutdown had a dramatic effect on all five of his dealerships.

“Some of it is manual now. But it is much clunkier internally, more cumbersome internally, to process simple things like repair orders or work a car deal,” he previously told the Free Press, part of the USA TODAY Network.

Craig Schreiber, one of the owners of the Northtown Automotive Companies in New York, told USA TODAY the company was able to go “old school” and use handwritten, manual forms in its departments after CDK’s systems were shut down.

Contributing: Jamie L. LaReau, Detroit Free Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: CDK cyberattack update: All dealers should be back online by Thursday



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