If you tried to sync your Garmin fitness band or smartwatch to the company's servers over the last few days, you may have noticed that something's awry. After initial reports pointed to a ransomware attack (via ZDNet), Garmin has now publicly confirmed that it's been hit by a cyber attack and that it's working to bring its servers back online over the next few days.
As if the COVID-19 outbreak itself wasn't bad enough, there are also criminals exploiting people looking for guidance in this time of fear and misinformation. A malicious Android app has popped up that promises to help you track coronavirus cases near you and globally, but it's just a scheme to get some ransomware on your phone.
Ransomware is one of the nastier types of malicious software to emerge in the last few years. It's not exclusive to mobile, but the basic gist is that it locks down either specific files or an entire machine until the user sends money to a shady, untraceable online account to get their digital life back in order. The combination of easily-exploited security vulnerabilities, relatively small payments spread out over thousands of devices, and users reliance on their phones or computers has proven incredibly lucrative for malware developers.