In June, a targeted cyberattack came after 15,000 car dealerships across the nation…

Absolutely crippling their operations.

Now, nearly a month later, many dealers are still fragile as they recover lost time and lost funds. 

What caused this attack on an entire industry and what exactly made the attack so severe?

How CDK Cyberattack Crippled Industry

On June 19th, CDK Global, an essential tool for dealerships nationwide, ceased all operations…

As the direct result of a debilitating cyberattack. 

CDK is an operating software company that provides car dealers with different features…

Creating an all-in-one platform with every feature a dealership might need. 

Some of the features include:

  • Recordkeeping for commission payments
  • Keeping forms required for bank loans
  • Inventory trackers
  • Website managing

Some of CDK’s biggest clients include AutoNation, Sonic Automotive, and Lithia Motors…

Over 15,000 car dealerships could not continue their operations once the software was shut down. 

Few details have been revealed on the nature of the cyberattack, however, CDK has stated that this was a ransomware attack…

Ransomware attacks involve hackers accessing sensitive information and holding it ransom until the company pays up. 


The software and its operations came back up on July 4th, yet many dealerships and workers are still reeling from the effects. 

Dealerships Hit Hardest

Dealerships, workers, and customers felt the outage the most.

In response to the cyberattack

Salespeople at dealers were forced to switch to pen-and-paper methods to keep track of sales and inventory…

Salespeople were often some of the hardest hit, not only did the outage affect their current deals, causing them to progress at a snail’s pace…


And they weren’t alone. Other workers at the dealerships, such as mechanics, also weren’t taking home their regular paychecks. 

Dealerships were mostly frustrated with how CDK handled the damage control. In fact, many of the customers had no clue that the company was hit by a ransomware attack until it was reported in the media. 

CDK has not been handling its customer base well throughout the recovery period after the attack…

Resulting in many customers losing their faith in the company.

The software outage cost the auto industry close to one billion dollars in losses. 

But while CDK has had it bad, dealer employees have had it harder

With many long-time employees looking for new jobs and new industries to take part in. 

The Road To Recovery

Ultimately, the dealerships will bounce back and while no one can anticipate a giant attack that effectively shuts down an industry…

(Even big names like Roku and 23andMe aren’t immune)…

Brand trust comes from how well you’re able to service your customers

And it seems CDK still needs to learn that lesson. 

Be Great, 

GCTV Staff

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