Kia Motors America has said that it is in the process of restoring services crippled by an extended computer outage. The outage began over the weekend and has affected the ability of dealers to order vehicles and parts. It also left a smartphone app offline. The app is used by vehicle owners to remotely start and warm-up vehicles. Kia has neither accepted that the problem is because of a ransomware attack nor it has provided any explanation about what has caused this extended outage. In a statement, KIA said that no data has been subject to ransomware.
However, some reports claim that the notorious ransomware gang DoppelPaymer is behind the outage. The gang has demanded USD 20 million as a ransom. It has been claimed that the gang has threatened to leak all the data stolen unless the automaker pays the money. The group has reportedly give Hyundai, the parent company of KIA, a time period of three weeks. Post that, the group said, it can increase the ransom amount. Denying all these reports, KIA said that its UVO app will be back online soon. However, the company did not confirm that whether the outage has resulted in vehicle deliveries.
A Phoenix woman took to the microblogging site to complain about how the outage has delayed her attempt to lease her KIA vehicle. She claimed that some salespeople informed her that ransomware is to be blamed for the delay. Hyundai, however, said that a limited number of customers are facing this problem. The company said that its Bluelink smartphone app is working perfectly and not affected. For the uninitiated, DoppelPaymer is a ransomware gang that speaks Russian. The gang first emerged in 2019 after it attacked multiple public agencies and industries. It is among ransomware syndicates that have been extorting money from victims. They somehow gain access to sensitive data and then threaten to publish it online.