A month after resuming operations following the COVID-19 shutdown, a suspected cyber-attack forced global vehicle manufacturer Honda to stop work at a number of plants around the world, the company confirmed on Friday.
The Japanese auto-company’s main US plant in Ohio resumed manufacturing on Thursday, but the company’s North American online financial services and call centres are still experiencing disruptions.
“Honda has experienced a cyberattack that has affected production operations at some U.S. plants,” Honda North America Spokesman Chris Abbruzzese told Popular Mechanics on June 11.
“There is no current evidence of loss of personally identifiable information,” Abruzzese assured, without commenting on the attack’s production impact, or the suspected perpetrator.
Based on samples of the code used in the attack, cybersecurity researchers suspect ransomware software, known as Snake or Ekans, were used.”Looking at the code, we identified several markers related to the EKANS/SNAKE ransomware and several text strings containing the word ‘honda,’” according to Cybersecurity firm Malwarebytes’ threat intelligence director Jerome Segura.
A Turkish car factory and motorcycle manufacturers in India and Brazil came back online on Wednesday after also being disrupted by the June 9 attack. The incident is reminiscent of the 2017 “WannaCry virus” cyber-attack that shut down Honda’s US production for one day in 2017.
Separate from the cyber-attack, Honda has been forced to cut shifts at some factories in Japan as the economic fallout of COVID-19 continues to impact demand and access to certain vehicle parts.