WannaCry Ransomware Attack Invades Honda Factory Forcing Shutdown

It seemed for a moment that the WannaCry ransomware that wreaked havoc at hospitals across Europe had been neutralized, but apparently it is still causing disruptions. The latest report comes from Honda Motor Co., which said on Wednesday that it had to shut down one of its factories in Japan after discovering that WannaCry had wormed its way onto the company's computer network.

Honda temporarily ceased production at its Sayama plant located northwest of Tokyo. That particular factory produces several Honda automobile models, including the Accord sedan, Odyssey minivan, and Step Wagon compact vehicle. On any given day, it churns out around 1,000 vehicles, making a halt in production more than just an inconvenience—having to shut things down is also costly for Honda.

Image Source: Flickr (Mike Mozart)

The automaker said it discovered the ransomware on its computer network on Sunday. WannaCry managed to infiltrate its systems in several different regions, including Japan, North America, Europe, China, and other places. What makes this especially frustrating for Honda is that it had previously taken precautions to prevent this very sort of thing back when WannaCry was making headlines in the middle of May. Those efforts proved futile.

On the plus side for Honda, the ransomware did not affect its other factories, where production continued as normal. And as for the Sayama plant, it had resumed operation by Tuesday, a spokeswoman told Reuters.

WannaCry has proven a nuisance ever since it started to gaining notoriety last month. The initial outbreak hit hospitals in Europe fairly hard, and in some cases resulted in entire wards being shutdown. Doctors had to turn patients away because they were unable to log onto their systems and lookup patient records and perform other tasks.

Ransomware is a popular type of malware that is most often spread through phishing schemes. What it does is encrypt a user's storage drive and then demand a ransom, oftentimes in Bitcoin, in exchange for an encryption key. In some cases, the ransomware will put a time limit on the ransom and then begin permanently deleting files if no payment is made.