Toyota halts all Japan factory operations fearing cyberattack

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Toyota will lose around 13,000 cars of output.

Toyota announced a suspension of all factory operation in Japan after a supplier of plastic parts and electronic components was hit by a probable cyberattack.

So far no details on who was behind the possible attack or the motive. The attack comes just after Japan joined Western allies in clamping down on Russia after it invaded Ukraine.

“It is difficult to say whether this has anything to do with Russia before making thorough checks,” Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters. Kishida on Sunday announced that Japan would join the United States and other countries in blocking some Russian banks from accessing the SWIFT international payment system. He also said Japan would give Ukraine $100 million in emergency aid.

Toyota: ” A System Failure.”

A spokesperson from Toyota described it as a “supplier system failure.” The company does not yet know if the halt at its 14 plants in Japan, which account for about a third of its global production, will last more than a day, the spokesperson added. Some plants operated by Toyota’s affiliates Hino Motors and Daihatsu are included in the shutdown.

Veterans in the cyber wars

Toyota, which has experienced cyberattacks in the past, is a pioneer of Just-In-Time manufacturing with parts that arrive from suppliers going straight to the production line rather than being stockpiled. State actors have launched cyberattacks on Japanese corporations in the past, including an attack on Sony in 2014, which exposed internal data and shut down computer systems. The United States blamed North Korea for that attack, which came after Sony released “The Interview,” a comedy about a plot to assassinate the regime’s leader Kim Jong Un.

Toyota’s production halt comes as the world’s biggest automaker is already tackling supply chain disruptions around the world caused by the Covid pandemic, which has forced it and other carmakers to trim output. And just to round out the challenges — Toyota has seen periodic production slowdowns and stoppages in North America due to parts shortages caused by the Canadian trucker protests.

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