Devastating Cyberattack on Car Dealer Paralyzes All Aspects of Business Operations

CDK Global Cyberattack: A Devastating Blow to Auto Dealerships


Earlier this week, CDK Global, a software suite used by nearly 15,000 auto dealerships, was hit with two massive cyberattacks. The attacks have virtually shut down dealership operations, impacting everything from service appointments to new car sales. The magnitude of the impact is unprecedented, leaving dealerships scrambling to find workarounds as they wait for CDK systems to come back online.

The Devastating Effects of the Cyberattack

The first cyberattack hit CDK Global on Tuesday, prompting the company to shut down its systems. A second attack followed on Wednesday, causing another shutdown. As of Friday afternoon, CDK is still down, and it could be days before operations return to normal. For dealerships heavily reliant on CDK for their operations, the impact is felt across every aspect of the business. Service appointments are disrupted, new car sales are stalled, and even basic tasks like clocking in and processing payroll are affected.

The Challenges Faced by Auto Dealerships

The cyberattacks have left auto dealerships facing a range of challenges. With CDK systems down, service advisors are unable to write up repair orders, mechanics can’t record time or make repair notes, and labor rates and parts cannot be processed. The finance team is unable to complete paperwork for new car sales, and employees are unable to clock in or receive payroll. Dealerships are forced to resort to manual processes, handwriting repair tickets, and recording customer information by hand. The lack of access to critical information hampers their ability to efficiently serve customers and process transactions.

Navigating the Fallout: How Auto Dealerships are Coping

Despite the challenges posed by the cyberattack, auto dealerships are doing their best to navigate the situation. Some dealerships are resorting to old-fashioned paper forms and manual processes to keep operations running. Others are taking deposits to secure sales and finalizing transactions once CDK systems are back online. However, the limitations of manual processes are evident, with dealerships unable to access crucial information or efficiently process transactions. The uncertainty surrounding when CDK systems will be back online adds to the frustration and stress faced by dealerships as they strive to keep their businesses afloat.

The Ongoing Impact and Future Outlook

As dealerships continue to grapple with the fallout of the cyberattacks, the future remains uncertain. The lack of information on the origins of the attacks and the timeline for system restoration leaves dealerships in limbo. The disruption to operations and loss of revenue will have lasting consequences for many dealerships, highlighting the vulnerabilities of businesses in the digital age. The incidents serve as a stark reminder of the importance of cybersecurity measures and the need for robust strategies to protect against cyber threats in an increasingly interconnected world.


The cyberattacks on CDK Global have dealt a severe blow to auto dealerships, disrupting operations and causing widespread chaos. The impact of the attacks reverberates across every aspect of dealership operations, underscoring the critical role of technology in the automotive industry. As dealerships strive to cope with the fallout and navigate the challenges posed by the cyberattacks, the incidents serve as a wake-up call for businesses to prioritize cybersecurity and implement measures to safeguard against future threats. The road to recovery may be long and arduous, but it is essential for dealerships to remain vigilant and resilient in the face of emerging cyber risks in the digital landscape.

Share This Article