US car dealerships back to pen and paper after a cyberattack

Car dealerships across the US faced a significant computer system outage due to a cybersecurity incident affecting their software provider, CDK Global.

Early Wednesday morning, numerous car dealerships across the US were knocked out of service due to an outage caused by a cyberattack on their software provider, CDK Global.

CDK Global is one of the leading providers of software for car dealerships, offering services such as managing vehicle acquisitions, sales, financing, insurance, repairs, and maintenance. Reportedly, CDK's systems first went down around 2:00 a.m. EDT (06:00 GMT).

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The notification sent to the affected users stated that the incident involved both of the CDK’s data centers.

Employees shared the chaos that erupted in over 15,000 retail locations across North America, delaying car acquisitions. Some employees shared on Reddit that they used paper and pen to note the maintenance needed for the car.

“Hand-written and half-assed tickets in XTime. No clue how we’re gonna close tickets that were already open or how to pay our technicians,” one Reddit user wrote.

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Some employee shared that without the system, their department has ”no clue what anything costs.”

Concern was also raised about data safety, as CDK systems hold a tremendous amount of private data that could be exploited by cybercriminals in case of a data breach.

CDK spokesperson Lisa Finney told CNN that the company had to shut down most of its systems “out of an abundance of caution" for customers. “We are actively investigating a cyber incident,” she said.

"We are continuing to conduct extensive tests on all other applications, and we will provide updates as we bring those applications back online," CDK said in a statement to Reuters.

The company managed to restore its core document management system and digital retailing solutions by Wednesday afternoon after consulting external third-party experts.

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