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Honda rocked by cyber attack

Written by Tue 9 Jun 2020

Global operations at the Japanese carmaker have been affected

Japanese carmaker Honda said it is dealing with a cyber attack after its servers were targeted with the Ekans ransomware.

The incident is affecting the firm’s operations around the world, including production.

According to NBC News, the ransomware attack was first discovered on Sunday. On Monday, Honda halted production in certain locations to contain the disruption.

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.”

Ekans is a variant of the Snake ransomware recently used to target Fresenius Group, Europe’s largest private hospital operator.

Commenting on the cyber attack, Dave Palmer, director of technology at UK cyber security company Darktrace, said industrial control systems are increasingly vulnerable to attack.

“Ekans is a relatively new form of ransomware – a tool which has the power to lock down industrial control systems and machinery in factories,” he said.

“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,” he added.”

“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.”

Production at Honda’s UK factory in Swindon has been suspended during the coronavirus lockdown but is due to resume this week.

The plant will permanently close in July next year with the loss of 3,500 jobs.

Written by Tue 9 Jun 2020

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