Toyota shuts down all operations in Japan at risk of massive cyberattack

Starting Tuesday, March 1, Toyota will suspend production at all 28 lines of its 14 plants in Japan after experiencing multiple failures potentially stemming from a potential cyberattack against supplier Kojima Industries, which operates domestically.

The company reports that this failure has conditioned its communications with Toyota, so for the moment the automotive firm could not monitor its production processes despite the fact that there are no physical failures in the devices. Tomohiro Takayama, a spokesman for the company, says the condition is already being investigated.

So far it has not been confirmed what type of cyberattack affected the operations of Kojima Industries, in addition to the fact that technical details about the current operation of the affected systems are unknown.

Kojima supplies multiple parts to Toyota, including air conditioning systems, steering wheel components and other parts for the interior and exterior of vehicles produced by the company. At the moment it is not clear when the problem could be fixed and normal production resumed.

Toyota, recognized in today’s market for the production of the Prius hybrid car and other popular models, apologized for the inconvenience that the interruption could cause its customers, in addition to ensuring that the problem will be solved as soon as possible.

Hino Motors, a truck manufacturer of the Toyota group, confirmed that two of its production plants in Japan were also affected by a similar condition, so this could only be the beginning of a widespread attack on the Japanese auto industry.

This isn’t the only issue the company has faced recently. Toyota and other automakers are already grappling with shortages of computer chips and other parts critical to car manufacturing due to disruptions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, a situation that has no apparent short-term solutions.

To learn more about information security risks, malware variants, vulnerabilities and information technologies, feel free to access the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) websites.