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US arm of Japanese automotive hose maker Nichirin pauses production after ransomware attack

Japanese automotive hose giant Nichirin was forced to pause production this week after a US subsidiary was hit with ransomware. 

In a statement, the company said it first discovered the ransomware attack on June 14. Servers at the US subsidiary – which is based in El Paso, Texas — were shut down in an effort to contain the attack.

Nichirin confirmed that none of their other subsidiaries were affected by the attack. 

“We are proceeding with countermeasures and restoration for the blocked network. Currently, the [US subsidiary’s] production control system is also shut down, but we are manually producing and shipping,” the company explained. 

“We are trying not to interfere with the deliveries. However, since the work for business recovery is being prioritized, it is expected that it will take some time to investigate the cause of unauthorized access, the influence of information leakage, etc.” 

Nichirin was forced to temporarily shut down its website as it dealt with the attack but it is available in Japan.  

They pledged to provide more information to customers as they move ahead with the investigation. 

The company manufactures brakes, air conditioning, power steering, and water hoses for automobiles, motorcycles, and residential use.

In a follow up notice on its website, the company warned customers to be wary of “suspicious emails that spoof our company.”

“It was confirmed that suspicious emails have been sent that deceived us. There is no relationship with us for such ‘spoofed emails.’ If you reply to these emails, there are risks of fraud, virus infection, or leakage and misuse of your personal information,” the company said. 

“Please do not reply to any unknown email, access the URL listed, open any attachments, etc., and delete the email immediately.”

There have been several ransomware incidents targeting the automotive industry in recent years, including an attack on automotive components supplier Denso in March. The Pandora ransomware group claimed credit for the attack on the company, which provides components for companies like Toyota, Honda, General Motors, and Ford.

Bridgestone-Firestone tire factories across North America and Latin America struggled to recover from a cyberattack after sending workers home for multiple days in March. 

Toyota Motors suspended operations across Japan in February after a cyberattack on supplier Kojima Industries. 

One of Europe's biggest car dealers, Emil Frey, was hit with ransomware in January. German multinational company Eberspächer Group was forced to send part of its factory workforce home on paid leave as it dealt with a ransomware attack that crippled its IT systems in October 2021. 

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Jonathan Greig

Jonathan Greig is a Breaking News Reporter at Recorded Future News. Jonathan has worked across the globe as a journalist since 2014. Before moving back to New York City, he worked for news outlets in South Africa, Jordan and Cambodia. He previously covered cybersecurity at ZDNet and TechRepublic.