Cyberattack Paralyzes Japan’s Largest Port, Threatens Supply Chain
- October 9, 2023
- 11:10 am
Tokyo, Japan –
The Port of Yokohama, Japan’s busiest and largest port, has been forced to suspend operations due to a crippling ransomware attack in a stunning turn of events. On July 4th, an attack on the Japanese maritime industry shook the industry. It raised concerns over the country’s cybersecurity system.
One of the largest ports in Japan
A ransomware attack has affected the operation of container terminals at Nagoya Port, Japan’s most prominent and busiest port.
There are 21 piers and 290 berths in the port, which handle over two million containers yearly and 165 million tons of cargo tonnage. Japan’s total trade volume heavily depends on it, accounting for approximately 10% of its overall trade. The largest automaker in the world also uses the port, Toyota Motor Corporation, to export many of its vehicles.
Here is a glimpse of what happened
According to a statement from Nagoya Harbor Transportation Association, the cyberattack started Tuesday when the computer system for handling shipping containers was taken offline. According to the association, the hack forced the port to stop running trailer-driven containers.
LockBit had not claimed responsibility on their dark website for the Port of Nagoya ransomware attack by midday Thursday in Japan. The Port of Nagoya association could not provide an update on whether a ransom was demanded.
In light of threats from cyber criminals and state-sponsored hackers, Japanese supply chain operators should test their supply chains for cyberattacks and prepare a response plan, Matsubara told CNN.
Operations are expected to resume on July 5th morning after the port authority has restored the NUTS system by evening on July 4th.
Since then, all trailer-based container loading and unloading operations have been suspended at the terminals, causing massive financial loss to the port and severe disruption to the movement of goods to and from Japan.
A Limelight into the Ransomware Virus
Cybercriminals use ransomware to lock victim organization’s computers so they can demand payment.
The incident has caused great concern about the impact it may have on the local economy and supply chain, including the auto industry, Mihoko Matsubara, chief cybersecurity strategist at NTT Corporation, told CNN.
The hack was carried out using LockBit ransomware, linked to Russian-speaking hackers.
History of previous attacks
Despite having faced cyberattacks, the Nagoya Port Authority has been the most affected by this one. A massive distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS) launched by the pro-Russian group Killnet rendered the port’s website unreachable for about 40 minutes on September 6th, 2022.
No threat actor has publicly claimed responsibility for the ransomware attack on the Port of Nagoya.