Russia Is Suspect In Cyberattack That Will Force Toyota To Shut Down Plants In Japan

Russia Is Suspect In Cyberattack That Will Force Toyota To Shut Down Plants In Japan

At 7pm Japan time Monday, Toyota announced that it will shut down all of its plant operations on Tuesday in response to a suspected cyberattack that disrupted the manufacturer’s supply management system and its subsidiaries.

As of Monday night, no information was available regarding the origin of the possible attack or the motive. The attack comes just after Japan joined Western allies in imposing economic and financial sanctions on Russia after it invaded Ukraine. The Japanese government had only just warned domestic corporations to be wary of potential cyberattacks after it imposed sanctions including freezing assets and restricting superconductor exports. 

When the Russian ambassador to Japan Mikhail Yurlevich Galuzin was interviewed last week on Japanese television, he took an ominous tone by stating that, “Should Japan impose sanctions on Russia, there would be consequences.” Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said his government would investigate the incident and whether Russia was involved but comments like those made by the ambassador only help to make Russia look suspect.

Japan’s biggest carmaker will suspend production on 28 lines at 14 plants across the country. Toyota subsidiary companies in Daihatsu and Hino Motors also said they will halt operations at some of their plants. The shutdown will reportedly affect production of around 13,000 vehicles or around 4% of the. Brand’s monthly domestic output.

Kishida went on record Sunday by announcing that Japan would join the U.S. and other nations in stopping some Russian banks from accessing the SWIFT international payment system. He also said Japan would assist Ukraine with a $100 million injection of emergency aid.

Toyota is still determining whether it will be able to resume operations this week. According to a report, the cyberattack hit Kojima Industries, a plastic parts maker that supplies components to Toyota. The supplier said it was still looking into the source of the attack including the malware used and level of damage suffered.

Having suffered cyber attacks before, Toyota is a pioneer of Just-In-Time manufacturing with parts that arrive from suppliers just before they are required on the production line, rather than being stored for later use. 

As Toyota works out how to deal with this attack, other local carmakers are holding their breath, hoping they won’t be next.