What just happened? On Monday, Toyota halted assembly lines at its Japanese factories because of a cyberattack. The shutdown caused a loss of production, equating to about 13,000 vehicles. The hackers did not attack Toyota directly. Instead, they targeted a supplier of plastic and electronic parts.
Reuters notes that the carmaker halted production at 28 assembly lines in 14 factories. Affiliate manufacturers Hino Motors and Daihatsu are included in the closure. Monetary losses could reach as much as $400 million based on average car retail prices.
“We apologize to our relevant suppliers and customers for any inconvenience this may cause,” Toyota said in a statement.
It is uncertain who was behind the attack. It followed Japan’s agreement to join allies in enacting sanctions against Russia, but it is unclear whether the move was connected. The Japanese government is investigating whether Russian agents were involved but did not want to rush to any conclusions.
“It is difficult to say whether this has anything to do with Russia before making thorough checks,” Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters.
Over the weekend, Japan joined Western nations in enacting sanctions against some Russian banking institutions, preventing them from using SWIFT (The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) transactions. Restrictions on the SWIFT international payment system are intended to cripple Russia’s industrial sector and dissuade further advancement into Ukraine. Japan also agreed to send Ukraine $100 million in emergency aid.
Image credit: Grégory Costa