Honda confirms it has suffered a cyber attack as plants around world halted and computer systems failed

Time 3:24 pm, June 9, 2020

Honda has confirmed it has been the subject of a cyber attack that has taken down its computer systems and impacted production around the world.

Yesterday, Car Dealer reported that the manufacturer had seen its IT systems breached which saw staff sent home from offices and factories around the world.

Phone systems stopped working and computers could not be accessed by Honda employees in the ransomware attack.

Production has been affected, confirmed the company with a spokesperson saying that there had been ‘an impact on production systems outside of Japan’.

It is believed computers became infected with ‘Ekans’ malware. In previous cases of the Ekans malware infecting companies it has informed users that it has penetrated their system and demands payment to decrypt its data.

Production has been halted at its plants around the world including those in North America, Turkey, Italy and Japan. 

Production at its UK factory in Swindon has been suspended during the coronavirus lockdown but was due to resume this week. It is not known how this attack will delay the restart. The plant is due to permanently close in July next year with the loss of 3,500 jobs.

The company hopes that some production will restart in other factories either this afternoon or later this week.

Honda says no data has been breached and added that ‘at this point, we see minimal business impact’.

Honda said in a statement: ‘Honda can confirm that a cyber attack has taken place on the Honda network. We can also confirm that there is no information breach at this point in time.

‘Work is being undertaken to minimise the impact and to restore full functionality of production, sales and development activities. At this point, we see minimal business impact.’

The news comes as research shows more than half of companies cyber attacked pay the ransom demanded by criminals to get access to their computers back.

According to data analysed by Atlas, blackmail and ransomware attacks rose by 140 per cent in 2019, compared to 2018 with 57 per cent of companies paying the ransom. 

Rachel Welsh, the COO of Atlas VPN, said: ‘Victimised companies should not be paying the ransom and should be focusing on preventative methods to ensure these attacks do not happen at all.’

This is not the first time Honda 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

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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