Apparent Ransomware Attack Brings Honda Operations to Standstill

Production in the US, Brazil, Europe and Asia was disrupted following the infiltration of the auto giant's servers

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Japanese automaker Honda said June 9 it was a target of a cyberattack that forced a shutdown of its manufacturing operations but so far had minimal impact on overall business. 

In a statement, the company said a virus had spread in its network, impacting use of its systems such as e-mail and access to its servers.  

The Financial Times reported that the auto giant's internal servers in Tokyo had been infiltrated. 

The cyberattack was said to have affected production at motorcycle factories in Brazil and India, and at car plants in Italy, Turkey, the US, the UK and Japan, among others. Honda has more than 200,000 employees worldwide.

According to Honda, it is working to “minimize the impact and to restore full functionality of production, sales and development activities." It claimed there was no breach of the company's data. A Honda spokesperson said there was no current evidence of a loss of personally identifiable information. 

Meanwhile, a cyber security expert identified the incident as a ransomware attack, meaning that hackers infiltrated the company's network and encrypted data or locked the company out of its own systems.

”The virus impacting Honda is part of the SNAKE ransomware family, which targets an entire network rather than individual workstations” said Oz Alashe, CEO of London-based cybersecurity company CybSafe, in an interview with Britain's The Telegraph.

“Honda’s global operations have already been disrupted, and while some systems appear to be back online, it’s likely that rolling back up to full operations will take some time,” he said.

There were no immediate details on the identity of the actor that carried out the attack.

 

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