Skip to main content

Cyberattacks Hit 15,000 Dealers Across America — Here's What It Means For You

Two cyberattacks have caused thousands of dealers to go offline, leaving customers hanging

Car hacking image
  • Two cyberattacks on CDK Global, a company producing software for car dealerships, have left more than 15,000 dealers without essential systems.
  • The company suspended many of its services out of caution as a result of the attacks.
  • Customers could face delays and difficulty obtaining parts, ordering cars, or getting service as a result.

You could be forgiven if you’ve never heard of a company called CDK Global. It’s an innocuous name for a company that provides data and technology services to more than 15,000 dealers across America. But on June 19, the company was hit by two cyberattacks that have rendered most dealers using CDK software entirely inoperable.

What happened?

CDK says it is "actively investigating a cyber incident," and has preemptively shut down all of its systems as of Wednesday. Though the company was able to partially restore some systems the same day, a second attack Wednesday night delayed things further.

As of of Friday, CDK says it doesn’t "have an estimated time frame for resolution — and therefore our dealer systems will not be available, likely for several days." Moreover, customer support systems are also unavailable, which limits assistance to dealers trying to push through the shutdown.

What does this mean for you?

As a result of these attacks, affected dealers will struggle to get you parts, service your vehicle, or even sell you one.

BMW, Ford, and Stellantis told the Associated Press that outages as a result of the cyberattacks and subsequent shutdowns have affected some dealers, but that others are able to continue sales. In some cases, dealers are writing up orders by hand while they wait for services to resume. Ford tells AP that it expects "delays," but some Ford and Lincoln dealers are still able to function.

However, what is not immediately clear is what effect the attacks will have on customer privacy. CDK told dealers that it was aware of "bad actors" posing as CDK employees or affiliates trying to obtain access to systems. Right now, virtually nothing is known about the impact the cyberattacks have had on customer privacy.

Edmunds says

Customers at dealers could face a number of issues in light of these cyberattacks. It isn’t clear when these problems will be resolved, but we’re hoping that customer data will not be among the casualties.