Global brand Garmin™ has become a world leader in both consumer and aviation grade GNSS systems and services. Their aviation products are used across the industry particularly in the general and business aviation sectors.
However, in the last few days Garmin has been in the news for all the wrong reasons, and their plight highlights the risk modern aviation organisations face when incorporating increased connectivity.
Multiple news outlets are reporting that Garmin has become the victim of a ransomware attack. Unknown hijackers have allegedly infiltrated their network disrupting access and encrypting data. Some news agencies are reporting the hijackers are demanding a $10,000,000 USD ransom to restore access.
Garmin released a statement on Monday stating “Many of our online services were interrupted including website functions, customer support, customer-facing applications, and company communications,”
One of the more alarming aspects of this attack is the impact on Garmins aviation services including its flyGarmin and Garmin Pilot app. Disruption to these services prevented pilots from being able to plan flights and update its aircraft aeronautical databases, and in some cases grounded flights.
As aviation organisations rush to take advantage of improved connectivity it seems they risk leaving doors open on their way.
This is a timely reminder to aviation organisations, engineers, pilots, and RPA operators alike that airworthiness has a new consideration, connectivity. And this connectivity comes with risk.
Bevan is one of the DroneTrust owners and has an extensive range of skills and experience in the aviation industry.
He is an experienced airline Captain, Licensed Avionics Engineer and a certified RPA flight examiner. He is also the lead content developer for Drone Trust.