CDK Global begins system restoration following debilitating cyberattack

Retail software provider CDK Global has announced that it has begun restoring its systems following a debilitating cyberattack that has paralysed nearly 15,000 car dealerships across North America since Wednesday.

The company, which provides crucial software for managing everything from scheduling to records, expects the restoration process to take several days to complete.

In a statement released on Saturday, a CDK spokesperson said, "We anticipate that the process will take several days to complete, and in the interim we are continuing to actively engage with our customers and provide them with alternative ways to conduct business."

The software outage has caused significant disruption to the automotive retail sector, with many dealerships scrambling to implement temporary solutions to maintain operations. Some businesses have resorted to manually filling out forms to process sales, whilst others are experiencing difficulties with vehicle registration due to their reliance on CDK's software for communicating with motor vehicle departments.

Bloomberg previously reported that the company was negotiating with an Eastern European-based hacker group demanding tens of millions of dollars in ransom to end the outage. CDK has not responded to requests for comment regarding these reports.

The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) expressed concern over the incident. Mike Stanton, NADA's president and CEO, stated, "Thousands of franchised new-car dealerships rely on CDK to run their businesses and this outage has impacted dealers' ability to provide a seamless customer experience and process transactions efficiently."
Major car manufacturers, including Ford, are working with dealers to set up alternative software systems and other workarounds. However, the effects of the outage are expected to vary from dealer to dealer.

The system shutdown could potentially slow down business and cause shipping delays at dealerships as the summer season approaches. With dealership sales in the United States topping $1.2 trillion in 2023, according to NADA, the impact of this cyber incident on the automotive retail sector could be substantial.

As CDK Global continues its efforts to restore services, dealerships and customers alike are advised to remain vigilant and patient during this challenging period for the automotive retail industry.

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