Ransomware attack hits Orbcomm’s BT series of ELDs; paper logs are back | #ransomware | #cybercrime

ELD provider Orbcomm has been hit with a ransomware attack. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

ELD provider Orbcomm has been hit with a ransomware attack. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Orbcomm, a major provider of ELDs to the trucking sector, is dealing with a ransomware attack that has limited the ability of its customers to use its Fleet Manager offering, which includes its Blue Tree ELD systems, the company has confirmed.

Resolving the issue may take up to two weeks.

“On September 6, 2023, ORBCOMM experienced a ransomware attack that is temporarily impacting our FleetManager platform and BT product line, which is used by some of our customers to track and monitor their transportation assets,” Michelle Ferris, the company’s vice president of corporate communications, said in response to an email query from FreightWaves. “Upon discovering the issue, industry-leading external cybersecurity experts were retained to conduct a thorough investigation. Importantly, all of our other systems and service offerings remain completely operational, and customers are using them as normal. We remain in contact with all impacted customers and will continue to provide timely updates as our recovery and investigation processes progress.”

In a notice to Orbcomm customers Wednesday, supplied to FreightWaves by an Orbcomm customer, the company said under the heading “Rebuild and Restore” that it is “targeting to restore full use of our BT product line and the supporting platforms as well as RCOM Reports by September 28.”

The service interruption affected the BT product line, which is the core of Orbcomm’s ELD offering, as well as a reporting service known as RCOM Reports. Specifically, the outage impacts Blue Tree ELD models BT500 and BT504.

The notice said in conjunction with that date, users of the BT system have received an exemption from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to continue to use paper logs through Sept. 29, unless the BT system comes back online prior to that.

The FMCSA exemption allows the users of those ELD systems to continue using paper “graph grid” records or logging software until that date. The exemption could end earlier if the ransomware attack is thwarted and the systems come back online.

“Our internal and external teams will be working diligently on restoration over the coming weeks, and we know we will learn more as we bring certain systems and applications back online, but we wanted to share our target date with you,” the notice stated. “We will keep you updated on our progress against this goal.”

The Wednesday note added that Orbcomm had not found any signs “indicating that our customers’ proprietary networks are or were at increased risk as a result of this incident.”

In a discussion about the outage in the r/trucker subreddit on Reddit, the irony of drivers lamenting the loss of the ELD system to be replaced with paper logs — which many drivers strenuously objected to as the ELD mandate went into effect in 2019 — seemed to be summed up in what read like a tongue-in-cheek comment by one person in this posting.

“Hope you all enjoy your paper logs,” the commenter wrote.

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