CDK Global struck by major cyberattack, impacting over 15K U.S. auto dealerships

ATLANTA - CDK Global, a software and data provider that services thousands of auto dealerships across the country, was hit by a cyberattack on Wednesday.

More than 15,000 car dealerships across the U.S. were impacted, with 250 dealers in Georgia among them.

"Clearly, it's going to hurt us for a while," William Strickland, owner of Bellamy Strickland Chevrolet.

The cyberattack had dealerships doing things the old-fashioned way.

'When you pull in to get an oil change, we write your repair order up and that repair order has got a lot of data on it, like your name, your information, your car's information, how many quarts of oil it takes, and all the various information, and we keep up with that. So, yesterday, we had to go to paper,' said Strickland.

<div>A cyberattack on CDK Global has impacted tens of thousands of car dealerships across the country.</div> <strong>(FOX 5)</strong>
A cyberattack on CDK Global has impacted tens of thousands of car dealerships across the country.
(FOX 5)

The system went down around 2 a.m. Eastern time, but some functions were restored by the afternoon.

"We are going back to the way that we operated in the '80s, meaning we are putting everything on paper and by hand. That causes its own set of problems. We had people who couldn't figure out tax and we couldn't figure out the hours on the repair order," said Strickland.

"They are clearly in a very hard situation," said Ramnath Chellappa, professor of information systems and operations manager at Emory University.

He says customers should be aware of the breach.

"If they have dealt with dealers who are using CBK, which I presume is a number of dealerships, they should be aware their information could be for sale on the dark web," said Chellappa.

<div>A cyberattack on CDK Global has impacted tens of thousands of car dealerships across the country.</div> <strong>(FOX 5)</strong>
A cyberattack on CDK Global has impacted tens of thousands of car dealerships across the country.
(FOX 5)

Some of the most sensitive information may be in those systems.

"Think about it from a customer point of view. We go to the dealership, and we give them our social security number because we need loans and interest rates. Sometimes we don't go to banks because we go through dealerships ourselves. So essentially all the information we give to a bank," said Chellappa.

In a statement on Wednesday, a representative for CDK said they were continuing to conduct extensive tests on their applications and get them back online as soon as possible.

Third-party cybersecurity experts were also brought in to assist in the restoration.

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