Cyberattack Paralyzes Car Dealerships Nationwide

CDK Global outage could last for days
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2024 10:38 AM CDT
Cyberattack Causes Chaos at Car Dealers Across US
CDK's software is used by around 15,000 dealerships in the US and Canada.   (Getty Images/welcomia)

A system that around 15,000 car dealerships rely on was down for a second day Thursday after a cyberattack, and the chaos paralyzing dealerships could continue for days to come. CDK Global said Wednesday that it had temporarily shut down systems out of an "abundance of caution." Early Thursday, it said systems had been shut down again after an "additional cyber incident." Insiders tell CNN that dealers were told systems could be down for several more days.

Bloomberg reports that CDK's software, known as a dealer management system, or DMS, "underpins virtually every element of auto retailers' day-to-day business"—and after decades of consolidation, dealerships only have a few DMS providers to choose from. Unable to access records including inventory, past deals, and other office operations, dealers are trying to find ways to keep operating. Alex Padron, sales manager at a Nissan dealership in Phoenix, tells Bloomberg that business is "almost at a standstill." He says the dealership is writing contracts on paper and using guesswork to determine creditworthiness.

Jeff Ramsey, an executive at Ourisman Auto Group in Maryland, tells CNN that the outage has come at a bad time. It's a busy season in the industry and he's worried that buyers will go to rivals that use different systems. "We're in the summer months," he says. "This is where we need systems functioning." CDK hasn't disclosed whether the cyberattack is linked to ransomware, PC Mag reports. (More car dealers stories.)

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