Japan Faces Cyber Attack Disrupting 10% Of Its National Trade Infrastructure

Tyler Cross
Tyler Cross Senior Writer
Tyler Cross Tyler Cross Senior Writer

A recent ransomware attack has rocked Japan’s Port of Nagoya, throwing its container terminals into turmoil.

Ransomware is a kind of cyber weapon used by hackers to encrypt a victim’s computer systems or data, effectively locking them out. The attackers then demand a ransom to restore access; however, paying this ransom doesn’t guarantee access is restored, since the hackers can simply demand more money.

The Port of Nagoya is the largest and busiest in Japan, operating 21 piers and 290 berths. This bustling hub handles a cargo tonnage of 165 million every year, shipping over two million containers. Notably, Toyota Motor Corporation, a global automobile titan, relies heavily on the port to export the majority of its cars.

It’s the “Nagoya Port Unified Terminal System” (NUTS) — the center that controls all container terminals — that has been infected. While the full extent of the incident is unknown, it resulted in the entire port being shut down.

The administrative authority of the port confirmed the ransomware intrusion, following an investigation with the Nagoya Port Operation Association Terminal Committee and the Aichi Prefectural Police Headquarters.

In response, all container loading and unloading operations involving trailers have been halted. The blockage has significantly disrupted the flow of goods to and from Japan, inflicting substantial financial losses.

The magnitude of this disruption can’t be underestimated. The Port of Nagoya is instrumental in managing around 10% of Japan’s total trade volume. The knock-on effect of this cyber assault will likely ripple through the country’s economy.

The alleged group behind the attack is LockBit 3.0, using an evasive and modular strain of ransomware. They’ve recently demanded their ransom for the port’s data, but police have yet to finish their investigations to verify if this group were the perpetrators.

The port authorities aren’t sitting idle, though. They’re hard at work restoring the NUTS system and aim to resume normal operations by tomorrow morning.

“We will closely monitor any impact on production while carefully examining the parts inventory,” Toyota stated.

About the Author
Tyler Cross
Tyler Cross
Senior Writer

About the Author

Tyler is a writer at SafetyDetectives with a passion for researching all things tech and cybersecurity. Prior to joining the SafetyDetectives team, he worked with cybersecurity products hands-on for more than five years, including password managers, antiviruses, and VPNs and learned everything about their use cases and function. When he isn't working as a "SafetyDetective", he enjoys studying history, researching investment opportunities, writing novels, and playing Dungeons and Dragons with friends."