WannaCry hits Honda's production line

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Honda said Wednesday it had temporarily halted production at a plant in Japan after it suffered a cyberattack from the same ransomware that struck hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide last month.

Honda had to shut down one of its plants in Japan earlier this week due to WannaCry making its way into their networks in multiple regions including Japan, North America, Europe, and China.

Work at other plants was unaffected but Honda said it is checking its overseas operations for problems. The WannaCry virus received widespread attention when it attacked computers at the UK's NHS hospitals. WannaCry exploits unpatched Server Message Block (SMB) services on Microsoft operating systems to gain access and then encrypt data, holding it for ransom until the victim pays up. The plant produces a range of vehicle models like the Accord sedan and Odyssey Minivan. This despite the fact that there were as many as three months of opportunities to patch against the primary vulnerability exploited by the attack.

WannaCry was created to gain purchase on systems by targeting a flaw in Windows server message block - SMB - functionality that Microsoft patched in March for supported operating systems, and on May 12 for several outdated ones.

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The automaker's announcement comes more than five weeks after the WannaCry outbreak began May 12. Attackers are likely to apply risk management techniques to their attacks going forward that will serve to help them get the most return for each attack.

"Companies like Honda should be aware of the tools and resources available to them to secure their networks and ensure business continuity", he added.

"Last month's global WannaCry attack was-or at least should have been-a wake-up call that security should be proactive, not reactive", Penn stated.

The virus also hit Honda's rival, Nissan, which stopped production at its factory in Sunderland, as well as in France, India and Romania.