ELD Company Orbcomm Hit With Ransomware Attack

FMCSA Issues an Extension on Reporting Times
Orbcomm BT 500
The Blue Tree ELD models BT500 (shown) and BT504 were the main targets of the attack. (Orbcomm)

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Technology provider Orbcomm was recently hit with a ransomware attack that has resulted in outages for some customers using its fleet management services, the transportation software company confirmed Sept. 18.

Rochelle Park, N.J.-based Orbcomm provides the trucking industry with hardware and software services including electronic logging devices. The company experienced a ransomware attack Sept. 6 that has since been impacting some of its core services.

“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, vice president of corporate communications at Orbcomm, said in a statement provided to Transport Topics. “Upon discovering the issue, industry-leading external cybersecurity experts were retained to conduct a thorough investigation.”

The Blue Tree ELD models BT500 and BT504 were the main targets of the attack. One of the company’s customers told TT that its entire fleet had lost GPS visibility and e-logs capabilities as a result of the ransomware attack.

“We have made significant progress over the past week and are working toward a target date of September 28, 2023, for full restoration of impacted services,” Ferris said. “We continue to provide impacted customers with timely updates as specific applications and functionality are restored over the coming days leading up to September 28.”

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued an extension on reporting times for any carrier using an impacted ELD model registered by Orbcomm. The extension allows truck drivers to continue to use paper records of duty status in lieu of electronic filings.

“Drivers using the identified ELDs may continue to record their hours of service on a paper graph grid or logging software,” FMCSA said in a notice Sept. 11. “As a condition of this extension, a carrier must maintain this letter at the carrier’s principal place of business and keep a copy in each vehicle with a malfunctioning ELD. A driver must make the copy of this document available to a safety enforcement official upon request.”

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FMCSA added the extension will remain in place until it is notified that the malfunctioning BT500 and BT504 ELDs have resumed service, or by Sept. 29. Orbcomm issued a service alert within days of the attack warning customers that some services were experiencing a systemwide outage.

“At present, the BT504 ELD installed in this CMV is in a state of malfunction and the driver is utilizing a paper Record of Duty Status for 8 days,” the service alert said Sept. 8. “Orbcomm is working diligently to resolve this issue as quickly as possible. This communication regarding the status of this BT504 ELD is valid until Sept. 14 or until the outage is resolved whichever comes first.”