Car dealership disruptions continue after CDK Global cyberattack

CDK Global, a company that provides software to thousands of car dealerships nationwide, continues working to restore systems downed by a pair of cyber incidents last week.

Company officials said Sunday that they expect it to take “several days” to fully restore systems, Reuters reported. CDK is used by nearly 15,000 dealerships and provides a variety of services, including dealer management systems (DMS), digital retail tools and more, according to its website.

“We are continuing to actively engage with our customers and provide them with alternate ways to conduct business,” CDK told Reuters in an emailed statement.

In the interim, some dealerships have resorted to using paper and pen to write up vehicle orders, according to The Associated Press.

“It’s just mass chaos at this point,” said Diana Lee, the chief executive officer of Constellation, a marketing agency that works with auto dealerships across the U.S., according to Bloomberg News. “The dealer’s required to actually run a DMS for sales, service, parts, for every single functionality — even stocking a vehicle, you can’t do it without the DMS system. So it is a disaster.”

The company has acknowledged the issue as a “cyber incident.” It prompted CDK to shut down systems on Wednesday as it faced back-to-back attacks.

The cyberattack is believed to have stemmed from a group based in eastern Europe that has demanded tens of millions of dollars in ransom, Bloomberg reported, citing an unidentified source. CDK has not identified the group. Last week, it warned customers to be wary of people posing as company representatives.

“We are aware that bad actors are contacting our customers, posing as members or affiliates of CDK, trying to obtain system access,” the company said, according to Bloomberg. “CDK associates are not contacting customers for access to their environment or systems. Please only respond to known CDK employees and communications.”

Mike Stanton, the president and CEO of the National Automobile Dealers Association, told CNN in a statement on Sunday that the group “continues seeking information from CDK on the nature and scope of the cyber incident, so dealers are able to respond appropriately.”

“Thousands of franchised new-car dealerships rely on CDK to run their businesses and this outage has impacted dealers’ ability to provide a seamless customer experience and process transactions efficiently,” he said.

The incident happened after the Findlay Automotive Group, a company that operates 33 dealerships in Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Washington and Idaho, reported a cybersecurity issue that impacted its ability to conduct sales and service earlier this month. The Las Vegas Review-Journal identified the issue as a ransomware attack.

Authorities are investigating.

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