Toyota shuts down local factories amid a suspected cyberattack

Toyota was forced to shut down all of its 14 local factories on Tuesday following a cyberattack on its major electronic components supplier.

Nikkei Asia, which first broke the news about the cyberattack, said that 28 lines at 14 plants will be suspended, along with some other Japanese plants at subsidiaries Hino Motors and Daihatsu Motor.

"Due to a system failure at a supplier in Japan, we have decided to suspend the operation of 28 lines at all 14 domestic plants", Toyota told news agency AFP, BBC reports.

The incident happened with Kojima Industries, which supplies electronic components and plastic parts to Toyota. The company also confirmed that it had received a message demanding ransom.

"It is true that we have been hit by some kind of cyberattack. We are still confirming the damage and we are hurrying to respond, with the top priority of resuming Toyota's production system as soon as possible," an official close to Kojima Industries told Nikkei Asia.

Kojima Industries is currently in the process of investigating the attack and the potential damage done.

As of now, Toyota’s operations are expected to resume on Wednesday, according to Nikkei Asia. The halt of its Japanese factories will cost the company around 13,000 cars of output, as they account for roughly a third of its annual global production.

The cyberattack follows Japan joining other Western countries in putting financial pressure on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine. However, there is currently no definitive information on the source of this cyberattack.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida promised to investigate the incident and Russia’s potential involvement.

"It is difficult to say whether this has anything to do with Russia before making thorough checks," Kishida told journalists, Sky News reports.

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