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Japan’s Nagoya port suffers a significant ransomware attack

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One of the largest ports of Japan, the Port of Nagoya, suffered a ransomware attack from an unknown group, affecting its operation of container terminals.

The administrative authority of the Port of Nagoya issued a notification regarding the attack. The attackers gained access and locked the Nagoya Port Unified Terminal System (NUTS), the centralised system controlling all container terminals in the port.

The authorities expect to resume operations by Thursday at 8:30 local time. Till the NUTS system is restored, the authorities have cancelled all the loading and unloading operations at the port terminals leading to enormous financial loss to the country.

“Upon investigating the cause, we held a meeting with the Nagoya Port Operation Association Terminal Committee, who operates the system, and the Aichi Prefectural Police Headquarters [and] it was discovered that the issue was a ransomware infection”, said the Nagoya Port authorities.

It is not the first time that the Port of Nagoya has suffered a cyberattack. On September 6, 2022, cybercriminals from the pro-Russian group, Killnet attempted a massive distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack on the port’s website causing it to remain unreachable for about 40 minutes.

The port is one of the most important ones in Japan and is the largest in terms of total cargo throughput of 177.79 million tons in 2021. Japan’s automobile industries, like Toyota, use the port, which sits at the top position in automobile exports in Japan.

Toyota, the world’s biggest car manufacturer, has reported that its current shipment operations are not hampered due to the attack.

Ransomware attacks on institutions are on the rise. In January, a ransomware attack on DNV ShipManager affected 1,000 ships. Last month, Granules India suffered a data breach in a ransomware attack by LockBit. And in May, a Spanish bank, Globalcaja, faced a ransomware attack.

Given the sheer scale and diversity of these attacks, institutions must take measures to protect themselves from ransomware attacks in the future.

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Kumar Hemant

Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: kumarhemant@pm.me

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