Honda Gets Hit With Ransomware

Honda, one of the largest vehicle manufacturers with 200,000 staff and factories around the world, has fallen victim to ransomware. The cyberattack brought production to a halt at some Honda facilities. It is publicized that Snake ransomware, also known as Ekans, is most likely responsible for the attack. “Snake, like other file-encrypting malware, scrambles files and documents and holds them hostage for a ransom, expected to be paid in cryptocurrency,” reports Zack Whittaker of TechCrunch. To Honda’s relief, it was disclosed that there was no indication of a loss of personally identifiable information. 

In addition to production being halted, Honda’s customer service and financial services operations were also stalled. Honda tweeted on June 8th, 2020: “At this time Honda Customer Service and Honda Financial Services are experiencing technical difficulties and are unavailable. We are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and understanding.”  

“As it happens I think Honda has recovered quite quickly,” Professor Alan Woodward of the University of Surrey told El Reg. “A few countries’ facilities are still affected but they seem to be coming back very fast, which suggests they had a good response plan in place…I’m impressed at how fast Honda is recovering. They obviously learned from when they were whacked with Wannacry.” In 2017, WannaCry ransomware hit Honda’s network forcing the company to stall production in one of their Tokyo plants.

Some have speculated that employees working from home might have been the cause of the cyberattack. “It’s possible that this attack was connected to teleworking,” states Oz Alashe, CEO of CybSafe. “The coronavirus pandemic has created a sizable remote workforce which has increased businesses’ attack surfaces and heightened existing vulnerabilities.” Whether the attack occurred as a result of the remote workforce is still unconfirmed. The situation does shine a light on a potential vulnerability most companies haven’t thought of. See “How to Secure Your Data While Working From Home” for more information.

 “Ransomware is a tremendously growing threat. More powerful variants and strains are constantly emerging, and there are more capabilities for it to be remotely (and confidentially) managed,” said, Chris Kennedy the CISO at AttackIQ. “The best way to defend against ransomware is readiness and timely response.” One way companies can prepare for a cyber attack is by creating back-ups so that in the event their information is compromised they can quickly retrieve it.  

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