Eberspaecher, a German supplier of automotive exhaust and thermal management systems, is the latest industry victim of a cyberattack, this one hitting the company’s IT infrastructure. While its main customers say there’s been no supply disruption so far, they are monitoring the situation.
Cyberattacks can impact operations
The attack led to an emergency short-time work schedule at the company’s headquarters in Esslingen, Germany. Production was also halted at many of the supplier’s factories, including its large plant in Neunkirchen, Germany, where employees stood in front of closed doors, Automotive News sister publication Automobilwoche reported.
So far, no customers in Europe or the U.S. — including BMW, Stellantis, VW and Audi — have reported production cuts related to the episode.
Past cyberattacks in the auto industry have led to automaker factories shutting down.
Honda last year suffered a crippling attack on its global computer network. Some plants, including in North America, were forced to temporarily suspend output because of a loss of computer connectivity.
In 2017, Honda was hit by the global WannaCry ransomware attack that affected production at a Japanese assembly plant, according to Reuters. That attack also affected Renault and Nissan operations in Japan, Europe and India, the news agency said.
How well is the industry prepared?
Almost half of 100 automotive manufacturers and more than 17 percent of automotive suppliers surveyed by cybersecurity ratings provider Black Kite are at high risk for a ransomware attack, according to a report released this summer.
How do cyberattacks work?
If left unchecked, cyberattackers can infiltrate unsecured corporate IT systems and install malware, restricting companies’ access to crucial data and holding it for ransom. Black Kite said more attacks could exacerbate current industry headwinds, such as the ongoing chip shortage and other supply chain woes.
The attacks aren’t limited to manufacturers
This year Braman dealerships in Florida experienced a system outage that affected operations. Local media reports said it might have been linked to ransomware.