Kia denies ransomware attack after days-long network outages

Kia Motors America has denied reports that it was a victim of a recent ransomware attack. This after online services suffered across the United States, affecting the work processes used by dealers to order for vehicles and parts while also adversely affecting the UVO app that owners use to remotely start the vehicle and use its air conditioning feature.

File photo used for representational purpose.
File photo used for representational purpose.

According to reports in the US media, Kia released a statement which highlighted that as per all the information available, there is no evidence to suggest that either the company or its data has been a victim to a ransomware attack. While apologizing to customers for the inconvenience caused, Kia also said that efforts are on to address the issue of outage and that most of the repair processes are now in place and active. "We apologize for the inconvenience to affected customers, especially those impacted by winter storms, who felt the outage of our remote start and heating feature most acutely," the statement read.

Cybersecurity news outlet BleepingComputer earlier this week had reported that as per a note it had received, ransomware gang Doppelpaymer had demanded $20 million from Hyundai to decode scrambled data. Both Hyundai and Kia systems had faced outage this week which had resulted in many car owners taking to social media to raise complaints. One buyer said she was unable to lease a Kia vehicle, most others said they were unable to turn on the car warming function remotely. Several others complained they were not able to start their vehicle through the app.

Associated Press reports that Kia has not yet confirmed if it has suffered delays in delivering vehicles to dealerships because of the outage woes even as several other reports mention dealers having suffered a push back in timelines.

At a time when cars around the world are coming packed with high-end features, such outages do pose a risk to ownership experience and may also be susceptible to online attacks from those with nefarious inten

First Published Date: 20 Feb 2021, 10:34 AM IST
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