Car manufacturer Honda targeted in cyber attack after computers infected

Time 3:03 pm, June 8, 2020

Car manufacturer Honda appears to have been targeted in a cyber attack that has put certain computer programmes off limits to employees.

The Telegraph has reported that security researchers have posted evidence on the internet showing a Honda server has become infected in the ‘Ekans’ malware.

Honda workers in America appear to have been sent home from work after getting to their offices to find equipment and phones weren’t working.

In previous cases of the Ekans malware infecting companies it has informed users that it has penetrated their system and demands payment to unencrypt its data.

Sky News reported that Honda began experiencing issues with its IT network in Japan and Europe earlier today, with technology sources saying that the company believed it was the result of unauthorised attempts to breach its systems.

A spokesman for the company said there was an issue with the Honda IT network, but could not confirm if the manufacturer had been targeted.

Honda said: ‘This is currently under investigation, to understand the cause. At this point, there is no effect on either Japanese production or dealer activities, and no customer impact.

‘In Europe, we are investigating to understand the nature of any impact. We can confirm some impact in Europe and are currently investigating the exact nature.’

Analysis of the ransomware published on the website today showed that Honda had become the latest victim of the ransomware.

The potential cyberattack was detected in the early hours by cybersecurity software which attempts to track the ransomware as it spreads through the internet.

In America, some Honda staff were sent home from work by the company at its plant in Ohio. Sharing the news on Facebook, many workers said they got to work to find equipment was not working.

One worker posted: ‘This is why our numbers got dropped down today and I got to leave.’

This is not the first time the company has been targeted by cyber criminals.

In 2017, one of the company’s plants at Sayama, Japan, had to shut down production temporarily after its network was hit by WannaCry ransomware.image.gif

It is not known whether the latest incident is targeting the company in the same way.

The Ekans malware is thought to target systems which control machinery, gaining access and then encrypting data, causing production processes to halt.

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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