Nearly a full week after a cyberattack that shut down operations in different parts of the world and wreaked havoc on its IT systems, Honda now has its plants in Ohio back up and running at full capacity.
The automaker has offered only a few scant details of the assault on the company’s computer operations, which were attacked as the company was dealing with the impact of COVID-19 impact, one of the issues was ransomware placed on its system.
“Honda experienced a cyberattack on Sunday, June 7 that affected production operations at some U.S. plants this week,” Honda said in a statement to TheDetroitBureau.com. “There is no current evidence of loss of personally identifiable information. We have resumed production at all of our manufacturing plants.”
Honda officials declined to provide additional details about which of the company’s global operations were impacted by what is being referred to as the Ekans malware on a number of websites devoted to cybersecurity.
One tech site, known as BleepingComputer, indicated that it is a version of the well-known Snake ransomware, itself named after a character in the Pokemon game.
If the Ekans attack holds true to the typical ransomware model it would require the company to pay a substantial fee before the perpetrators would relinquish control. In some cases, ransomware will completely delete a victim’s data and can even be used to cause physical damage to computer systems under attack.
In the wake of the attack, Honda officials did offer that it “experienced a disruption in its computer network that has caused a loss of connectivity, thus impacting our business operations. Our information technology team is working quickly to assess the situation.”
The attack, Honda’s second in three years, not only got the attention of the automaker, but industry analysts as well, trying to dissect what happened and its impact.
Zacks Equity Research noted that in addition to the plant shutdowns, Honda’s e-mails and other systems in plants around the world were affected by the attack.
Nevertheless, the firm stated there was no data breach due to the cyberattack and that none of data from its millions of customers around the world has been compromised. Nonetheless, the BBC has reported that Honda’s customer-oriented financial services group was one the unit’s targeted and disrupted.
Major corporations, including Renault and Nissan in the same attack on Honda in 2017, around the world have been hit by cyberattacks by various actors and these assaults have become a feature of industrial and political espionage. One of the most famous corporate hacks involved the 2014 assault on Sony Corp. by hackers supported by North Korea.
Millions of some of Sony’s most sensitive emails flooded into the internet, embarrassing the company over its plans to release a movie poking fun at North Korean lead Kim Jong-un.