Honda Pwned… Worldwide Production Temporarily Halted

Honda Motor company got pwned by hackers via some sort of ransomware. And the attack took down the car maker globally. That make it the most devastating cyberattacks that I have heard of. Here’s what the BBC reported:

“Honda can confirm that a cyber-attack has taken place on the Honda network,” the Japanese car-maker said in a statement.

It added that the problem was affecting its ability to access its computer servers, use email and otherwise make use of its internal systems.

“There is also an impact on production systems outside of Japan,” it added.

“Work is being undertaken to minimise the impact and to restore full functionality of production, sales and development activities.”

The firm – which makes motorcycles, cars, generators and lawn mowers, among other products – said one of its internal servers was attacked externally. 

It added that “the virus had spread” throughout its network, but did not provide further details.

And:

The company has confirmed that work at the UK plant has been halted alongside a suspension of other operations in North America, Turkey, Italy and Japan.

Dave Palmer, director of technology for Darktrace had this to say:

“This reported attack is a stark reminder of the risks that come from hyper connectivity.

EKANS is a relatively new form of ransomware – a tool which has the power to lock down industrial control systems and machinery in factories.

Critical environments do not fail gracefully. There isn’t the option of reverting to pen and paper and muddling along.

We need to build in cyber resiliency so these systems are able to resist and fight back against cyber-attacks. Last month, AI detected an attempted ransomware attack at a steel manufacturer and automatically stopped the attack from spreading to the sensitive (and much more valuable) industrial control systems avoiding any shut down of systems.

Now that industrial environments cannot simply be air-gapped to keep them safe, we need to invest in artificial intelligence systems that can work in the background to automatically and dynamically block attacks that not only bleed from IT but originate in industrial systems.”

Hopefully Honda will do some sort of post mortem on this and figure out how to improve their environment to avoid this situation in the future. I say that because shutting down production can’t be cheap. I’m going to guess that it’s tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars. Something a company like Honda can afford. I will also say that other companies should be watching so that they can learn from this and don’t become the next Honda.

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