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Coin Mining Attack Cripples Production at Japanese Firm

A Japanese manufacturer has seen output plummet for several days after being hit by the first stage in an attempted crypto-mining cyber-attack, according to reports.

Optical equipment maker Hoya, which operates in over 30 countries worldwide, is said to have suffered the attack at the end of February.

In late February, around 100 machines were infected with malware designed to steal log-ins from users, as the first stage in a suspected crypto-jacking campaign, according to Kyodo.

Although the second stage infection was reportedly repelled, the effect of dealing with the initial attack was to slow a key server down, hitting production and back-office processes.

A key manufacturing plant in Thailand was particularly badly affected, with Hoya’s lens production line partially shut down for three days. It is claimed that workers were no longer not able to use software to manage orders and production, with output slumping to around 40% of normal levels at two facilities.

However, the malware also found its way into machines at the firm’s offices in Japan, interfering with the distribution of invoices, according to the Japanese newswire.

The firm itself has been tight-lipped on the situation, with no official statements on its website. However, although Hoya had reportedly not been able to recover from the production delay by the end of March, an official told Kyodo that the attack will have “little” impact on its overall business.

Nevertheless, the raid is another sign of the potential for crypto-mining to disrupt operations, despite its reputation as a cyber-threat which operates covertly without the knowledge of victim organizations.

Back in November last year, a Canadian university also suffered major disruption from a crypto-mining campaign.

St Francis Xavier was forced to shut its entire network following an automated coin mining attack.

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