Toyota Shuts Down Due to Cyber Attack

Toyota Shuts Down Due to Cyber Attack

Today, a cyberattack came out against a major vehicle manufacturer. Want to learn more? Well, you can learn who got hacked and find out what is actually going on.

Toyota, a major car manufacturer, out of Japan has recently announced that they've been hit with a cyberattack and they had to shut down operations. They're saying for only 24 hours, which will be surprising to see.

Toyota suspends all Japan factory operations after this suspected cyberattack. Also, experts don't know who's behind this right now. They are being very tightlipped, but some key points include Toyota saying it will suspend Japan factory operations which was on Tuesday after losing around 13,000 cars out of output after a supplier of plastic parts and electronic components was hit by a suspected cyberattack.

So, this really wasn't an attack on Toyota. It was an attack on one of their suppliers, which is talked a lot through our channels and videos, about how supply chains are affected. Smaller businesses are attacked because they're easier targets. They don't have as robust security. That’s exactly what is going on here, where Japan and Toyota, in Japan, are having such trouble working with this vendor, working with this supplier which makes them basically have had to put a pause on things for a little bit.

No information was immediately available about who was behind the attack or motive, but there's a lot of chatter and a lot of talk about it being Russian hackers or attacks out of Russia. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, said his government would investigate the incident and whether Russia was involved. It’s interesting that they're kind of already thrown Russia under the bus on this. They are saying it's difficult to say whether this has anything to do with Russia before making thorough checks, but they're out here on most of the news stations like CNBC, where this is coming from. Experts are saying we're looking into whether it was them.

Kishida announced that Japan would join the United States and other countries in blocking some Russian banks from accessing SWIFT international payment system. He also said Japan would give Ukraine about a $100 million in emergency aid. Officials are thinking that could be the reason why they decided to attack. The whole idea behind this is that there's a lot of hackers out there who have access to various networks and people don't know it. This is the part of the detect service that Xact IT offers, where we're constantly going out there and looking for threat actors that may be persistent or have access in a network.

Many people might think, I’m not going to get attacked? Well, you never know because you may have hackers in your network. Then when these types of events happen, meaning the type of events that we're seeing in real life on the ground in Eastern Europe with Russia and Ukraine, what they're saying, "Okay, what do we have access to? What, networks do we have access to and where are they?" They’re also saying this when a specific target or targets like the United States, like Japan, like countries that are helping Ukraine, get targeted by cyber criminals or by a specific state sponsored hacking group.

This time it happened to be a supplier in Japan for Toyota Motors. A spokesperson at the supplier known as Kojima Industry, said it appeared to have been the victim of a cyberattack. As well, a spokesperson from Toyota described it as a supplier system failure. The company does not know yet if the halt, with their 14 clients in Japan, which account for about third of its global production will last more than a day. Now there was a report saying something that they already had planned to come back up tomorrow and that they use a backup communication system with their supplier. That remains to be seen.

Not many cyber experts have seen a major cyberattack where a company was that prepared, where they were able to get up operations of this magnitude in that short period of time. So, it will be highly surprising if they do. Maybe they'll get some of this system out, but it will be interesting if Toyota is able to get back to normal operations, even with the supplier getting hit in 24 hours. That would be remarkable, but not impossible. Honestly, it would just depend on how well you planned on things upfront. The article continues to point out that some plants operated by Toyota's affiliates, Hino Motors and Daihatsu are also included in the shutdown. So this affects more than Toyota. It affects some of their sister companies.

Toyota has experienced cyberattacks in the past, and they were one of the ones that pioneered the Just-In-Time manufacturing with parts arriving from suppliers going straight into the production line rather than being stockpiled. State actors have launched cyberattacks on Japanese corporations in the past, including an attack on Sony in 2014, which exposed internal data and shut down computer systems. The United States blamed North Korea for the attack for Sony. After this happened, they released, The Interview, a comedy about plot to assassinate the regime's leader, and that's a North Korean regime.

Toyota's production halt comes as the world's biggest automaker is already tackling supply chain disruptions around the world caused by the COVID pandemic, which has forced it and other carmakers to curb output. Toyota this month also saw some production stopped in North America due to parts shortages caused by a Canadian trucker protest.

There was another article that have said they rebooted some systems. Once they rebooted their systems, they confirmed that there were alerts on the computers that said they had been a victim of a cyberattack. Now that could mean that they got hit with ransomware, could also mean that there was just a note put on there saying that, "Hey, we've installed something, or we stole data from your network and we're going to release it if you don't pay us." As you can see with these bigger companies, the amount of information that comes out as a result of these attacks is less and less. That's simply because these incident responders are getting smarter about how to handle these situations.

You don't even know between today's attack with Toyota, and as we saw with yesterday's attack against Bridgestone, it's similar wording where they did not release too much information, didn't say they had ransomware. When you think back just less than six months, a year ago with Colonial Pipeline and JBS, it was immediately known that it was ransomware. So, things are changing. The way that companies react and respond to these events are changing. People don't know too much information about these events now but over time there will more released.

Hopefully, this incident will be learned, but as you can see with this Toyota cyberattack that was announced today on March 1st, 2022, that they are dealing with a cyberattack a day after Bridgestone, another auto industry supplier was also dealing with their own cyberattack. Both seem to be a ransomware attack but no one knows, Xact IT will update you soon.


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