Toyota Halts Production Across Japan After Ransomware Attack

The world’s largest carmaker has been forced to halt production at all of its plants in Japan after a ransomware attack on a key supplier, according to reports.

Toyota claimed it would suspend 28 production lines at 14 factories on Tuesday, with a planned resumption due for Wednesday, according to Nikkei.

The cyber-attack hit plastic parts supplier Kojima Industries and threatened to spill over into Toyota’s IT systems via its “Kanban” just-in-time production control system, the report claimed. Toyota cyber-experts are said to be on-site at Kojima to determine the impact and source of the attack.

“It is true that we have been hit by some kind of cyber-attack,” an unnamed official “close” to Kojima Industries told Nikkei. “We are still confirming the damage and we are hurrying to respond, with the top priority of resuming Toyota’s production system as soon as possible.”

Also affected are Toyota subsidiaries Hino Motors and Daihatsu Motor.

The Japanese carmaker sold 10.5 million vehicles in 2021, making it the world’s biggest producer for the second year running.

Andy Kays, CEO of Socura, claimed factory IT and OT systems are so exposed by default that it’s “astounding” more compromises don’t occur.

“Modern manufacturing companies such as Kojima Industries will have hundreds, if not thousands, of connected devices on site. Each one is a potential point of attack and a point of failure. Combined with a factory’s sizeable workforce, its attack surface is huge,” he argued.

“Old and outdated machines are also a problem. Even manufacturers at the cutting edge of digital transformation will usually have some legacy machines on the floor. Often these are machines that are simply too old to be updated with the latest security patches, but too expensive or important to be replaced. In critical infrastructure and manufacturing, sometimes devices cannot be updated and restarted because organizations cannot afford the downtime.”

The manufacturing sector was hit by more ransomware attacks than any other last year, according to a recent report from IBM.

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