Honda cyber attack: Factories across world brought to standstill by ransomware hack

The attack may have been designed specifically for Honda's systems

Adam Smith
Tuesday 09 June 2020 16:53 BST
(Pictures by Honda)

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Honda is suffering a cyber attack on its network, hitting its operations across the world.

The company's manufacturing plants have shut down and its customer service work has been forced to stop.

Honda said that the problem is affecting its computer servers, email systems, and other internal programmes.

It has also affected systems outside of Japan because of a “virus” that has spread through the network, but did not provide further information on the nature of the attack.

The attack reportedly happened on Monday morning, according to the Financial Times, with staff being asked to not access work computers and take a paid day of leave on Tuesday.

“Honda can confirm that a cyber attack has taken place on the Honda network,“ a spokesperson told the BBC. "We can also confirm that there is no information breach at this point in time."

Honda confirmed that its manufacturing plant in Swindon, where it makes the Civic model of car, was affected.

That plant has been closed since 20 March due to the coronavirus pandemic, and will reportedly close completely in 2021. however, The Telegraph reports that manufacturering was due to start 8 June.

Operations of car plants in Ohio, North America, Italy, and Turkey, have suffered, as well as motorcycle factories in India and Brazil.

The company said that it hoped the sites would resume their processes by this afternoon or later in the week.

In a tweet, a Honda Automobile Customer Service account said: “At this time Honda Customer Service and Honda Financial Services are experiencing technical difficulties and are unavailable."

"We are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and understanding.”

”At this point, we see minimal business impact,“ the company said, and insisted that no data had been breached.

A security researcher reportedly published sections of the ransomware code which suggested the attack had been designed specifically for Honda.

”The virus impacting Honda is part of the SNAKE ransomware family, which targets an entire network rather than individual workstations” Oz Alashe, the chief executive of cybersecurity business CybSafe, told 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.”

Honda has suffered an attack on its systems before in 2017, when the WannaCry ransomware forced the company to stop production. Honda had apparently strengthened its cybersecurity defences in the years since.

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