Toyota suspends domestic factory operations after suspected cyber attack

The Toyota logo is seen at a booth during an information day for the Shanghai Auto Show in Shanghai, China, April 19, 2021. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

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TOKYO, Feb 28 (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp. (7203.T) It said it would suspend local factory operations on Tuesday, and lost about 13,000 production vehicles, after a supplier of plastic parts and electronic components was subjected to a suspected cyber attack.

No information was immediately available on who was behind the potential attack or the motive. The attack comes after Japan joined Western allies in clamping down on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, although it was not clear if the attack was linked at all.

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

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“It is difficult to say whether this has anything to do with Russia before comprehensive checks are carried out,” he told reporters.

Kishida announced on Sunday that Japan will join the United States and other countries in blocking some Russian banks from accessing the international payment system SWIFT. He also said Japan would give Ukraine $100 million in emergency aid.

A spokesperson for the company, Kojima Industries Corp, said it appears it has been the victim of some sort of cyber attack.

A Toyota spokesperson 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 accounts for about a third of its global production, will last more than a day.

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Some factories operated by Toyota subsidiary Hino Motors (7205.T) and Daihatsu (6023.T) Included in the closure.

Toyota, which has suffered cyber attacks in the past, is a leader in just-in-time manufacturing with parts that arrive from suppliers and go directly to the production line rather than in storage.

State actors have launched cyberattacks on Japanese companies in the past, including an attack on Sony (6758.T) In 2014, which exposed internal data and shut down computer systems.

The United States blamed North Korea for the attack, which came after Sony Corporation released the comedy “The Interview” about a plot to assassinate regime leader Kim Jong Un.

Toyota’s production halt comes as the world’s largest automaker is already grappling with supply chain disruptions worldwide due to the COVID pandemic, forcing it and other automakers to limit production.

Toyota this month also saw some production halted in North America due to parts shortages caused by protests from Canadian truck drivers. Read more

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Additional reporting by Satoshi Sugiyama, Tim Kelly and Maki Shiraki; Editing by Louise Heavens and Thomas Janowski

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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