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Toyota suspends all Japan factory operations after a suspected cyber-attack

Toyota suspends all Japan factory operations

March 01, 2022: -On Tuesday, Toyota said it would suspend Japan factory operations, losing almost 13,000 cars of output after a supplier of plastic parts and electronic components was hit by a suspected cyber attack.

No information was available immediately regarding 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, but it was unclear if the attack was related.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said his government would investigate the incident and see if Russia was involved.

“It is difficult to say if this has anything to do with Russia before making thorough checks,” he told reporters.

On Sunday, Kishida announced that Japan would join the United States and different countries in blocking few Russian banks from accessing the SWIFT international payment system. He said Japan would give Ukraine $100 million in emergency aid.

A spokesperson at the supplier, Kojima Industries, said it appeared to have been the victim of some cyber-attack.

A spokesperson from Toyota described it as a “supplier system failure.”

The spokesperson added that the company does not yet know if the halt at its 14 plants in Japan, which account for almost a third of its global production, will last more than a day.

Some plants operated by Toyota’s affiliates, Hino Motors and Daihatsu, are included in the shutdown.

Toyota has already experienced cyber-attacks and is a pioneer of Just-In-Time manufacturing, with parts that arrive from suppliers going straight to the production line instead of being stockpiled.

State actors launched cyberattacks on Japanese corporations, including an attack on Sony in 2014, which exposed internal data and shut down computer systems.

The United States blames North Korea for that attack after Sony released “The Interview,” a comedy regarding the plot to assassinate the regime’s leader Kim Jong Un.

Toyota’s production halt comes as the biggest automaker globally is already tackling supply chain disruptions worldwide caused by the Covid pandemic, which has forced it and other carmakers to curb output.

Toyota saw some production stopped in North America due to parts shortages caused by the Canadian trucker protests.

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