Cyberattack on Car Dealerships: Disrupts Operations Nationwide

Cyberattack on Car Dealerships: Disrupts Operations Nationwide

A significant cyberattack on car dealerships has occurred, targeting CDK Global, a leading software provider for auto dealerships across the U.S. This attack has led to a temporary shutdown of most of CDK’s systems, affecting approximately 15,000 car dealerships and halting sales operations.


Impact of the Cyberattack on Car Dealerships


Major clients like General Motors dealerships, Group 1 Automotive, and Holman, which operates in eight states, rely heavily on CDK’s systems. As a result, the cyberattack on these car dealerships has severely disrupted their operations. “We are actively investigating a cyber incident,” a CDK spokesperson told CBS News. “Out of an abundance of caution and concern for our customers, we have shut down most of our systems and are working diligently to get everything up and running as quickly as possible.”


Restoration and Subsequent


By Wednesday afternoon, CDK Global announced that some systems had been restored following extensive tests and consultations with third-party experts. “With the work done so far, our core dealer management system and Digital Retailing solutions have been restored. We are continuing to conduct extensive tests on all other applications, and we will provide updates as we bring those applications back online,” CDK stated to CBS MoneyWatch.

However, another cyberattacks on car dealerships occurred on Wednesday evening, causing CDK to shut down its systems again. “Late in the evening of June 19, we experienced an additional cyber incident and proactively shut down most of our systems,” the spokesperson said. “In partnership with third-party experts, we are assessing the impact and providing regular updates to our customers. We remain vigilant in our efforts to reinstate our services and get our dealers back to business as usual as quickly as possible.”


Customer Support Challenges


Customers attempting to reach CDK’s support hotline encountered continuous busy signals. An automated message warned that the outage might affect dealerships for several days, with no estimated resolution time. This cyberattack on car dealerships highlights the growing concern over cybersecurity in the automotive industry.


The Rise of Cyberattacks on Car Dealerships


The rise in cyberattacks is a growing concern, with over 3,200 data breaches reported in 2023, a 78% increase from the previous year. These breaches impacted more than 65 million victims, according to a study by data firm SOAX. The recent cyberattack on car dealerships underscores the need for robust cybersecurity measures.


CDK’s Role in Managing Car Dealership Operations


CDK’s Dealer Management System (DMS) allows businesses to monitor operations from a single interface, while its retail tools enable online and showroom transactions. Brookfield Business Partners acquired CDK in 2022 in a deal valued at over $8 billion. CDK provides dealerships with essential tools for managing payroll, inventory, customer relations, and office operations. The technology also assists dealers in securing financing and insurance for car buyers.


Cybersecurity Measures


On its website, CDK promotes its cybersecurity capabilities, stating, “CDK Cybersecurity Solutions provide a three-tiered cybersecurity strategy to prevent, protect and respond to cyberattacks so you can defend your dealership.” However, the recent cyberattack on car dealerships demonstrates that even robust cybersecurity measures can be challenged by persistent threats.


Details of the Cyberattack on Car Dealerships


The cyberattack on CDK Global began Tuesday evening, as reported by Bleeping Computer. This initial attack took 15,000 car dealerships offline. CDK suffered another cyberattack on Wednesday evening, exacerbating the situation. The identity of the attackers remains unknown.


Dealerships’ Response


Some dealerships have resorted to creative solutions to continue operations during the outage. Employees shared on Reddit that they were using spreadsheets and sticky notes to handle small parts sales and repairs, though large transactions were on hold. One employee asked, “How many of you are standing around because your whole shop runs on CDK?” with users from Wisconsin and Colorado confirming their systems were offline.


How Partnering with PivIT Strategy Can Help


In light of the increasing frequency and severity of cyberattacks on car dealerships, partnering with a trusted cybersecurity expert like PivIT Strategy can provide critical support and protection. We offer comprehensive managed IT services, including advanced cybersecurity solutions tailored to the needs of car dealerships.


  • Proactive Cybersecurity Measures: We employ a multi-layered cybersecurity approach to safeguard your dealership’s digital infrastructure. This includes continuous monitoring, threat detection, and immediate response to potential threats, ensuring that your systems remain secure and operational.
  • Expert Incident Response: In the event of a cyberattack, our team of experts is equipped to provide rapid incident response, minimizing downtime and mitigating damage. Their experience in dealing with complex cybersecurity incidents ensures that your dealership can recover quickly and efficiently.
  • Ongoing Support and Training: We not only protect your systems but also provide ongoing support and training to your staff. This empowers your team to recognize and respond to potential cyber threats, strengthening your overall security posture.
  • Custom Solutions for Dealerships: Understanding the unique needs of car dealerships, we offer customized cybersecurity solutions that integrate seamlessly with your existing systems. This ensures that your dealership can continue to operate smoothly even in the face of cyber threats.


By partnering with PivIT Strategy, car dealerships can enhance their cybersecurity defenses, protect sensitive data, and maintain business continuity, even during challenging times like the recent cyberattack on CDK Global.




The cyberattack on car dealerships through CDK Global has highlighted the vulnerability of the automotive industry’s reliance on digital systems. As dealerships strive to resume normal operations, the incident serves as a stark reminder of the importance of cybersecurity in protecting critical business functions. Partnering with PivIT Strategy can provide the robust protection and support needed to safeguard against future cyber threats.

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