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In 2017, the company was forced to halt production at the Sayama plant in Japan after the WannaCry ransomware hit its internal systems. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint
In 2017, the company was forced to halt production at the Sayama plant in Japan after the WannaCry ransomware hit its internal systems. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

Honda global operations hit by cyberattack

  • Honda hasn't disclosed details on the nature of the cyberattack but security experts believe it is a ransomware attack which has blocked them out of their emails and internal systems.

NEW DELHI: Japanese car company Honda's internal network has been hit by a cyberattack, which impacted its servers, emails and internal systems. Production in some countries outside Japan also seems to have been affected, a spokesperson for the company told BBC.

Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL) confirmed to Mint that there was a company wide network disruption and that the matter is under investigation.

"A company wide network disruption has been reported by Honda companies globally. While the problem is currently under investigation, the recovery process is underway. Since we were in the preparatory phase of resuming production in HCIL plants after COVID-19 related shutdown, the network disruption has not impacted the production," an HCIL spokesperson said.

Honda Customer Service and Honda Financial Services have also been impacted and are currently unavailable.

Honda Customer service tweeted, "at this time Honda Customer Service and Honda Financial Services are experiencing technical difficulties and are unavailable. We are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and understanding."

Honda hasn't disclosed details on the nature of the cyberattack but security experts believe it is a ransomware attack which has blocked them out of their emails and internal systems.

Based on samples posted online, experts at Malwarebytes Labs, a cybersecurity firm, believe the network disruption at Honda is linked to the EKANS/SNAKE ransomware. According to Malwarebytes' threat intelligence team, a researcher shared samples of ransomware that supposedly was aimed at Honda. Analysis of the code revealed that when the malware executes, it will try to resolve to a hardcoded hostname (mds.honda.com). Without which the file encryption will not begin.

This isn't the first time Honda was targeted by a cyberattack. In 2017, the company was forced to halt production at the Sayama plant in Japan after the WannaCry ransomware hit its internal systems.

Due to covid-19 led shift to remote working, organisations across the world are at a greater risk than before.

World Health Organization (WHO) has reported a five-fold increase in cyberattacks targeting employees. IT major Cognizant was hit by a ransomware attack in April that disrupted operations for some clients.

Though the company recovered from the attack and services were restored, it expects losses of up to $70 million in Q2 because of it.

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