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Japan’s port resumes operation after ransomware attack

Japan's port resumes operation after ransomware attack

The Nagoya Harbor Transportation Association announced that the Port of Nagoya has begun a phased resumption of operations on Thursday afternoon. This follows a recent ransomware attack allegedly carried out by Russian hackers, which disrupted cargo packing procedures earlier in the week.

According to a statement from the association, one cargo terminal resumed operations at 3 p.m., and efforts are underway to restart another terminal by 5:30 p.m., followed by three additional terminals by 6:30 p.m.

While the systems at Japan’s largest maritime port were restored earlier, it took longer for operations to fully recover. The port was initially scheduled to resume activity earlier in the day, but the recovery process was delayed due to the retrieval of a significant amount of deleted data.

The ransomware attack, characterized by hackers blocking access to files or systems and demanding payment for restoration, led to the temporary suspension of operations at the container terminal in Aichi Prefecture on Tuesday morning, as reported by the Nagoya Harbor Transportation Authority on Wednesday.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno emphasized the increasing importance of security systems and countermeasures to combat such cyber threats as the complexity of cybersecurity risks continues to grow.

Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s largest carmaker in terms of units sold, stated that Tuesday’s attack in Nagoya would not currently impact the shipment of new cars. However, the loading and unloading of imported and exported parts at the port cannot proceed until the issue is resolved. Production has not been affected as of Thursday morning, according to a Toyota spokesperson.

The Port of Nagoya joins the list of ports globally that have recently been targeted by malware. Last Christmas, hackers breached the computer systems at Portugal’s Port of Lisbon, causing significant disruptions for several days. India’s busiest container port, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, also fell victim to a ransomware attack last year. Additionally, South Africa’s port and rail company experienced a ransomware attack in 2021, with cybersecurity experts attributing the incident to groups based in Eastern Europe and Russia.

Japanese authorities note a rising trend in such cyber attacks. Last year, a cyberattack on one of Toyota’s suppliers in Aichi Prefecture forced the automaker to halt operations at 14 factories.

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