Wednesday, 22 November, 2017

Honda plant hits the brakes as WannaCry ransomware strikes again

Honda is seen during the 87th International Motor Show at Palexpo in Geneva Switzerland Honda is seen during the 87th International Motor Show at Palexpo in Geneva Switzerland
Derrick Tucker | 23 June, 2017, 05:05

A Honda factory near Tokyo was shuttered for over 24 hours this week after its computers became infected with WannaCry, the same ransomware virus responsible for crippling systems in 150 countries last month, the auto manufacturer said Wednesday.

Honda Motor says it temporarily idled production at a Japanese vehicle plant this week after discovering systems infected with WannaCry, aka WannaCrypt.

There's no confirmation that the group claiming responsibility was actually behind the attack, of course, but in a tweet, the group said next in its sights is Steam, the game distribution platform.

WannaCry targeted Windows systems without a patch for MS-17-010.

WannaCry, which infected upwards of a million machines, took advantage of security holes in some Microsoft products to lock down computers and demand a ransom.

According to a Reuters report on June 21, Honda shut down production at its Sayama plant, where it manufactures approximately 1,000 cars a day including the Accord sedan and Odyssey minivan.

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The temporary closing of Honda's plant is just the latest effect of the ransomware attack, and is evidence residual attacks are still happening despite the largest portion of the attack being over.

The EU's law enforcement intelligence agency, Europol, said last month that more than 200,000 endpoints in at least 150 countries were infected by WannaCry. Some other vehicle producers, like Nissan Motor and Renault, were also affected by the ransomware and had to cease their productions in factories in Great Britain, France, Japan, India, and Romania.

The same WannaCry ransomware that attacked the NHS and other United Kingdom organisations brought Honda's Sayama plant to a standstill this week. They had stopped production at plants in Japan, Britain, France, Romania and India.

At the time a number auto manufacturers - including Renault and Nissan - were hit. If they don't, they could still be at risk of infection - either from WannaCry or other similar malware.

Despite those efforts, however, whoever developed the ransomware could easily retool it to eliminate the kill-switch flaw as well as some other amateur mistakes in the code.

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