Honda Rebounds From Cyber Attack; So, What Happened?

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
honda rebounds from cyber attack so what happened

Struck by a cyber attack on its global computer network that temporarily knocked out a few factories and most of its customer service centers, Honda is reporting that things are gradually returning to normal.

“Work is being undertaken to minimize the impact and to restore full functionality of production, sales and development activities,” the company said in a statement earlier this week.

Impacted facilities are supposedly already in decent shape, and the business hopes to move past this in short order. But what actually happened?

According to the informed nerds at Tech Crunch, Honda was made subject to “Snake ransomware.” The file-encrypting malware basically jumbles all the data on a network (or access to it) so it cannot be used by its owner and can be rescinded after the criminals are paid off — usually with digital currencies. Honda said that it doesn’t believe any files were pulled but its network had been held for ransom by unsavory actors. It also admitted that it didn’t have all the answers just yet.

Factories, including the plant in Marysville, Ohio, are said to be resuming operations today or tomorrow. Customer service is still reporting issues, however. There are also lingering concerns from experts that the corporation could be vulnerable to subsequent attacks until a rigorous investigation has been completed.

From Tech Crunch:

Brett Callow, a threat analyst at security firm Emsisoft, said a sample of the file-encrypting malware was uploaded to VirusTotal, a malware analysis service, referencing an internal Honda subdomain,

“The ransomware will only encrypt files on systems capable of resolving this domain but, as the domain does not exist on the clear net, most systems would not be able to resolve it. may well exist on the internal nameserver used by Honda’s intranet, so this is a fairly solid indicator that Honda was indeed hit by Snake,” said Callow.

Honda finds itself in similar company to IT giant Cognizant, cyber insurer Chubb, and defense contractor CPI, all of which were hit by ransomware this year.

Honda was hit with ransomware before, in 2017 — along with Renault, Nissan, Dacia and a bunch of other companies we don’t care about because they don’t build cars. It’s no stranger to digital shenanigans. But the aforementioned WannaCry attacks haven’t made it invulnerable to similar intrusions. Likewise, a lot of the more recent cyber attacks are presumed to have state backing due to their increasing levels of complexity. We don’t envy corporations having to contend with these attacks, least of all now that they seem to be coded by professionals.

Honda hasn’t mentioned what was lost in the attack, or even if it caved to the demands. For what it’s worth, it did say that there was “no current evidence of loss of personally identifiable information” and that most facilities are already operational. Let’s hope it stays that way.

[Image: Anastasiia Moiseieva/Shutterstock]

Join the conversation
  • Sgeffe Sgeffe on Jun 11, 2020

    Good to know they’re getting back to normal. (Well, whatever “normal” is in the COVID-19 era!) Even as a Systems Analyst, I’d need help if I fell for one of these! More to the point here, I couldn’t correct the problem of my own Accord! ;-)

  • Brn Brn on Jun 11, 2020

    I find it interesting that we don't work harder to locate and punish those responsible for stuff like this. Their crimes are large, destructive, and intentional.

    • See 5 previous
    • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Jun 13, 2020

      @sgeffe That's just normal commerce - asking about your avatar. They scan the net for any kind of hook to get you to buy something. I just searched for the history of John Bell Hood, the Confederate general Fort Hood was named after, and I got a pop-up offering more info about him, from a publishing company! That's not a sinister cyber-attack, it's just online business, with an assist from Google, suctioning any data from users they can sell.

  • Dusterdude @El scotto , I'm aware of the history, I have been in the "working world" for close to 40 years with many of them being in automotive. We have to look at situation in the "big picture". Did UAW make concessions in past ? - yes. Do they deserve an increase now ? -yes . Is their pay increase reasonable given their current compensation package ? Not at all ! By the way - are the automotive CEO's overpaid - definitely! (That is the case in many industries, and a separate topic). As the auto industry slowly but surely moves to EV's , the "big 3" will need to be producing top quality competitive vehicles or they will not survive.
  • Art_Vandelay “We skipped it because we didn’t think anyone would want to steal these things”-Hyundai
  • El scotto Huge lumbering SUV? Check. Unknown name soon to be made popular by Tiktok ilk? Check. Scads of these showing up in school drop-off lines? Check. The only real over/under is if these will have as much cachet as Land Rovers themselves? A bespoken item had to be new at one time. Bonus "accepted by the right kind of people" points if EBFlex or Tassos disapproves.
  • El scotto No, "brothers and sisters" are the core strength of the union. So you'll take less money and less benefits because "my company really needs helped out"? The UAW already did that with two-tier employees and concessions on their last contract.The Big 3 have never, ever locked out the UAW. The Big 3 have agreed to every collective bargaining agreement since WWII. Neither side will change.
  • El scotto Never mind that that F-1 is a bigger circus than EBFlex and Tassos shopping together for their new BDSM outfits and personal lubricants. Also, the F1 rumor mill churns more than EBFlex's mind choosing a new Sharpie to make his next "Free Candy" sign for his white Ram work van. GM will spend a year or two learning how things work in F1. By the third or fourth year GM will have a competitive "F-1 LS" engine. After they win a race or two Ferrari will protest to highest F-1 authorities. Something not mentioned: Will GM get tens of millions of dollars from F-1? Ferrari gets 30 million a year as a participation trophy.