The victim of a cyberattack, Honda Motor Co. this week was forced to temporarily close motorcyle factories in India and South America, as well as car factories in Turkey and the US, as the firm worked to fix its systems.
The disruption, according to Bloomberg, comes about a month after Honda reopened its doors amidst the coronavirus pandemic. The carmaker resumed U.S. operations in May and planned to continue production at its UK plant this week. Production at two assembly plants in Ohio—which account for more than half of Honda’s total auto production in the US (680,000 vehicles a year)—was halted, but the rest of North America appears to have been spared in the attack, the scope of which remains unclear.
A company spokesperson told Bloomberg it isn’t aware of any loss of personal information, and is “currently working toward the return to production of our auto and engine plants in Ohio.” Japanese operations were not affected, the news site said. Honda did not immediately respond to PCMag’s request for comment.
The specifics of the attack are still unclear, but the BBC reports that Honda’s ability to use its internal systems and access email has been compromised. The company refers specifically to being infected by a virus, which has managed to spread across its network, albeit not as far as the company’s headquarters in Japan.
Ransomware is suspected, with Morgan Wright, chief security advisor at security firm Sentinel One, commenting, “It looks like a case of Ekans ransomware being used … Ekans, or Snake ransomware, is designed to attack industrial control systems networks. The fact that Honda has put production on hold and sent factory workers home points to disruption of their manufacturing systems.” If it does turn out to be ransomware, Honda may be forced to keep its Ohio plants offline for an extended period of time as it attempts to regain control and remove any encryption applied to the data on its systems.