Garmin Received Decryption Key, May Have Paid Ransom

GPS technology company Garmin is recovering from a recent ransomware attack and has reportedly received a decryption key to recover its files, suggesting it may have paid a ransom, as uncovered by Bleeping Computer.

The site found that the attackers used the WastedLocker Ransomware and reported that they demanded $10 million as a ransom. Now, it also uncovered that Garmin is using a decryption key to regain access to its files, suggesting that the company may have paid that ransom demand or some other amount. The WastedLocker software uses encryption which has no known weaknesses, so the assumption is that to break it, the company must have paid the attackers for the decryption key.

Garmin was the victim of the ransomware attack at the end of July, when hackers succeeded in shutting down services including Garmin Connect, the network which syncs data for Garmin customers using wearables such as watches. Affected systems came back online within a few days, but services continued to be slow for some users.

As well as the inconvenience for wearables users, the hack had some people worried about more serious consequences as well. Some aviation navigation software like the flyGarmin app was also affected, meaning it could have been in breach of Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) requirements.

The company reassured customers that no customer data was stolen, and that no payment information from the Garmin Pay payment system was accessed or stolen either.

On Twitter, the company announced last week, “We are happy to report that many of the systems and services affected by the recent outage, including Garmin Connect, are returning to operation. Some features still have temporary limitations while all of the data is being processed.”

When asked for comment on these reports, a Garmin representative pointed Digital Trends to a statement the company made about the incident last week and said it had no further comments at this time.

Update August 3, 2020: Added response from Garmin

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Super Mario Party just received its first update in years and it’s huge

Super Mario Party has got to be one of the strangest games on Nintendo Switch. The game originally released in 2018, and though it was a fun enough experience when played with friends, Super Mario Party felt a little underwhelming on the content front and seemed ripe to receive new content as DLC or through post-launch updates. Unfortunately, we didn’t get anything in the way of post-launch content, with Nintendo launching a single, small update for Super Mario Party five months after it launched.

That led some of us to assume that Super Mario Party was probably considered finished over at Nintendo HQ, dashing our hopes for any new content. For better or worse, Nintendo is a company that can be full of surprises, and today, it’s proving that by shipping a new update for Super Mario Party years after the game released.

The update is pretty substantial too, as it adds online play to a variety of modes. According to Nintendo’s patch notes, the version 1.1.0 update shipping out today adds online play to the standard Mario Party mode along with the Partner Party and Free Play (Minigames) modes. When I reviewed the game back in 2018, the fact that online play was so limited was definitely a negative, so it’s nice to see that issue finally being rectified even if it is years after the fact.

You’ll have two options for playing online – you can either join up with friends through Friends Match, or you can join Private Games that use passwords. Super Mario Party online multiplayer supports 1 or 2 players per system and lets you play all 20 characters and all maps. You’ll only be able to play 70 of Super Mario Party‘s 80 minigames online, though, as Strike It Rich, Time to Shine, Take a Stab, All-Star Swingers, Rhythm and Bruise, Pep Rally, Wiped Out, Fiddler on the Hood, Clearing the Table, and Baton and On won’t be available.

One thing to note is that play data won’t be saved when you’re playing over the internet, so if you’re going to dive into a standard Mario Party match online, you’ll want to finish it in one go. You’ll also need an active subscription to Nintendo Switch Online to play online, which is little surprise. Beyond those caveats, though, this online implementation seems pretty straightforward, so give the update a download and a take it for a spin.

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