Cyber-Attack on Toyota?

14 Apr 2022

Cyber-attack on Toyota’s supply chain causing them to shut productions for 24 hours which resulted in a hit of a third of its global output, approximately around 13,000 vehicles.

On February 28th, Toyota Motors announced the suspension of their operations in 28 production lines across 24 plants in Japan after a key supply chain was hit by what they suspected was a cyber-attack. The supplier was forced to shut down all operations in its Koga facility which handles Toyota’s exports and the productions for the company. The attack has also affected their plastic parts and electronic components from Toyota’s supplier, Kojima Industries Corp.

The company attempted to reboot systems when they detected an error on a file server where they discovered a malware infection along with a “threatening message” written in English. They haven’t confirmed or denied if it was ransomware.

However, this isn’t the first time Toyota has experienced a cyber-attack. In 2019, Toyota experienced a hit against the company where personal data of millions of customers were released; this cost the company $37 million.

Is Russia involved?

It’s still to be confirmed who is behind this attack, nor motive. Kojima Industries have not disclosed the identity of the hackers; however, this came after Japan joined other Western partners in putting financial and economic sanctions against Russia in response to the invasion of Ukraine, but it’s still not known if this cyber-attack was related.

The Japanese government sent out warnings to domestic countries to be on high alert for any possible cyber-attacks, only for Toyota to be targeted hours later.

“It is difficult to say whether this has anything to do with Russia before making thorough checks,” Fumio Kishida, Japanese Prime Minister, told journalists.

On going issues?

The loss of production comes at a very chaotic time for Toyota, along with other automakers as they have been struggling to cope with an ongoing shortage of semiconductors caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the global industry productions fallings, it was estimated that manufacturers lost around $210 billion in revenue last year according to AlixPartners.

Slava Bronfman, CEO and co-founder at Cybellum, an automotive cyber security company commented on the fact that it is no surprise that Toyota was hit by a cyber-attack.

“Supply chain issues are really one of the weakest links for an organisation,” He continues to say that the challenges are not just in how they impact production capabilities, but also in how they affect the security of the final product.

The supplier has since resumed all productions.

“We will also continue to work with our suppliers in strengthening the supply chain and make every effort to delivery vehicles to our customers as soon as possible.” A statement made by Toyota.