US Subsidiary of Automotive Hose Maker Nichirin Hit by Ransomware

A US subsidiary of Nichirin, a Japanese company that makes hoses for the automotive industry, was recently hit by ransomware.

The company said on Wednesday in a press release written in Japanese that the attack, aimed at Nichirin-Flex USA, was discovered on June 14. Other Nichirin subsidiaries do not appear to be affected.

The full impact of the cyberattack is being investigated, including whether data has been compromised. The incident forced the company to shut down some production control systems and switch to manual processes.

Nichirin makes hoses for automobiles and motorcycles, as well as products for residential use. The company has operations around the world, with production sites in China and other parts of Asia, North America, and Europe.

On its website, Nichirin warned customers about fake emails apparently coming from the company.

“If you reply to these emails,there are risks of fraud,virus infection,or leakage and misuse of your personal information,” reads the alert from Nichirin. “Please do not reply to any unknown email,access the URL listed,open any attachments,etc., and delete the email immediately.”

SecurityWeek has checked the leak websites of several major ransomware groups, but none of them mentions Nichirin. However, if the attack is recent, the company could be listed at a later time, when the cybercriminals decide to put more pressure on the victim or if they’re confident that they will not get paid.

The attack on Nichirin comes just months after Japanese car parts giant Denso was hit by ransomware. The Pandora ransomware group took credit for that attack, claiming to have stolen 1.4 Tb of data.

“We continue to see threat actors targeting manufacturers in the automotive, infrastructure and government sectors,” said Darren Williams, CEO of BlackFog. “Cyber ​​criminals continue to target organizations with older infrastructure, lack of investment in cyber security in terms of both product and personnel. These industries continue to outpace the rest of the market in terms of attacks. It should serve as a reminder that even the smallest contributors to the supply chain must do their part to defend against cyberattacks.”

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.

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