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ECONOMY

Cyberattacks on Japanese companies increasing

  • March 22, 2022
  • , Asahi , p. 11
  • JMH Translation

By Watanabe Junki, Yamashita Hiroshi, and Miura Jumpei

 

Cyberattacks on Japanese companies are becoming increasingly common. Major tire manufacturer Bridgestone announced on March 18 that a factory of its American subsidiary was shut down for about a week. Morinaga & Co. also suspended the production of some of its products, and machine tool makers have come under attack. Auto parts manufacturers have been previously targeted as well. Companies urgently need to address the issue.

 

According to Bridgestone, unauthorized third party access was discovered on Feb. 27 at Bridgestone Americas, a subsidiary which coordinates operations for the Americas. By March 17, the attack was reportedly identified as a ransomware attack.

 

Several tire factories in the U.S. were shut down for about a week for inspection. The factories have been restored and there were reportedly no delays in shipments nor impact on sales. Bridgestone is said to be investigating whether or not any information was leaked.

 

Morinaga & Co. announced on March 17 that it confirmed illegal access to multiple servers at midnight on March 13. There was a system failure with a part of its manufacturing system. Production of some items was suspended as of 3 pm on March 18. There were some issues with logistics, delivery and sales systems, which have now reportedly been resolved. A spokesperson for Morinaga said, “Since we have enough inventory, our customers were not immediately impacted.”

 

Morinaga set up a countermeasures headquarters to investigate whether or not information was leaked. “We are checking whether the attack was due to ransomware,” a spokesperson said.

 

Fuji, which handles machine tools, revealed on March 18 that a server at its facility in the U.S. was temporarily disabled. It is highly likely that the server was attacked from the outside. No leaks have been confirmed to date, but Fuji will continue its investigation.

 

According to Fuji, the server went down on March 1 at its American facility. There was no problem with operations as the server was restored immediately. A group named “Lorenz” claimed responsibility for the attack on the internet.

 

There have been several reports of cyberattacks at companies such as major Toyota parts manufacturers Denso and Kojima Industries. At Toei Animation, an attack affected its production schedule, leading to the postponement of the release of the movie “Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero.”

 

Major cyberattacks on Japanese companies

Auto parts

 

Denso

Some leaks of information due to ransomware.

 

Kojima Industries

All Toyota factories in Japan suspended operations for one day.

Machine tools

 

Fuji

Server at American facility temporary disabled.

Semiconductors

 

Fujimi Incorporated

Handles polishing materials for semiconductors. Shipments temporarily suspended.

 

GlobalWafers Japan

Makes silicon wafers. Shipments temporarily suspended.

Tires

 

Bridgestone

Factory of an American subsidiary suspended operations for about one week.

Food

 

Morinaga & Co.

Production of some products suspended due to system failure.

Animation

 

Toei Animation

TV broadcast of animated film “One Piece” affected.

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