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National Impact of Cyberattack on CDK Global: A Wake-Up Call for U.S. Infrastructure Security

As reported by CBT News CDK Global, a leading software provider to auto dealerships across the United States, recently faced a significant cyberattack, compelling the company to temporarily shut down most of its systems.

This disruption had a ripple effect, bringing sales operations to a standstill at approximately 15,000 car dealerships nationwide, including those under prominent names like General Motors, Group 1 Automotive, and Holman.

A CDK spokesperson informed CBS News, "We are actively investigating a cyber incident. Out of an abundance of caution and concern for our customers, we have shut down most of our systems and are working diligently to get everything up and running as quickly as possible."

The attack began on Tuesday evening, as reported by Bleeping Computer, a cybersecurity news site. This disruption led to the complete offline status of the 15,000 dealerships CDK serves. Although the perpetrators of the cyberattack remain unidentified, CDK has enlisted third-party experts to expedite the restoration of their systems.

By Wednesday afternoon, CDK announced that some systems were back online. "With the work done so far, our core dealer management system (DMS) and Digital Retailing solutions have been restored. We continue to conduct extensive tests on all other applications and will provide updates as we bring those applications back online," CDK said in a statement to CBS MoneyWatch.

CDK Global’s DMS is an essential platform enabling businesses to monitor operations from a single interface. The system includes retail tools for transactions both online and in showrooms and aids in managing payroll, inventory, and office operations. CDK prominently displays its cybersecurity measures on its website, featuring a comprehensive three-tiered strategy aimed at preventing, protecting against, and responding to cyberattacks.

During the outage, dealership employees resorted to alternative methods to maintain operations. On Reddit, employees shared their experiences of using spreadsheets and sticky notes to sell small parts and perform repairs, though large transactions were not possible. One employee from Wisconsin asked, "How many of you are standing around because your whole shop runs on CDK?" receiving confirmations from colleagues in Colorado and other states.

One Mechanic in Louisiana said, he was having problems getting parts for his customers, and that the repairs were going to take longer than he originally quoted. "This is gonna piss off a lot of customers," he said.

This incident highlights the vulnerability of critical systems and the extensive impact a cyberattack can have on business operations across the nation. The ongoing efforts by CDK Global to restore full functionality underscore the urgent need for robust cybersecurity measures in protecting our national infrastructure.

As CDK Global continues to address the fallout from this cyberattack, it serves as a stark reminder of the critical importance of cybersecurity in safeguarding the backbone of American commerce.

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