Denso’s German network hit by cyberattack

Denso, a top Toyota supplier, was targeted by a ransomeware attack last week, the partsmaker said.

The Japanese supplier said it had detected unauthorized access using ransomware at Denso Automotive Deutschland GmbH, a group company that handles sales and engineering in Germany, on Thursday local time.

Denso “promptly responded,” spokeswoman Izumi Saito said on Sunday.

At the moment Denso’s operations are not being impacted by the attack, she said.

Pandora, the group that allegedly accessed Denso’s systems, threatened to disclose the supplier’s trade secrets including email, invoices and part diagrams on a website on the dark web, national broadcaster NHK reported, citing Japanese cyber security firm Mitsui Bussan Secure Directions.

The group said it had more than 157,000 purchase orders, emails and sketches, or 1.4 terabytes worth of data, NHK said.

Pandora has allegedly carried out cyberattacks using ransomware that encrypts company data and demands ransom in exchange for not divulging the data, NHK reported.

Denso spokeswoman Saito declined to comment on further details regarding the cyberattack.

Denso is the world’s second largest automotive supplier after after Robert Bosch, according to the Automotive News ranking of the top 100 global partsmakers

Second attack

The incident marks the second recent cyberattack against a Toyota supplier.

The automaker idled all of its factories in Japan two weeks ago after Kojima Press Industry was hit by an attack to its systems.

Although production resumed after a day, the incident was yet another blow to Toyota as it was seeking to recover production lost in recent months to chip shortages and COVID-related disruptions.

Toyota, which had been relatively resilient to supply chain snags through most of the pandemic, has been trying to ramp up production to make up for lost output and meet soaring global demand for new vehicles.

CEO Akio Toyoda said last week that the company would have to review its production plans due to mounting global disruptions.

The automaker said on Friday that it’s cutting its Japan output by 20 percent in April, 10 percent in May and 5 percent in June.

Cyberattacks have risen in Japan in recent years.

Authorities identified 12,275 cyber-crime cases in the country last year, a record high, according to Japan’s National Police Agency. Japan’s manufacturing industry is the largest target for crimes such as ransomware attacks.

Reuters contributed to this report

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