A cyberattack on Toyota Motor's supplier, Kojima Industries, halted production for a day. Kojima, a plastic parts and electronic components manufacturer that supplies Toyota, said it discovered an error on one of its file servers on February 26th, 2022. The attack suspended Toyota's operations for all of March 1st, 2022, impacting around 13,000 vehicles, as Kojima was not able to ship parts. The incident impacted 14 Japanese factories. While it is unclear what ransomware group attacked Kojima, the use of the powerful Emotet malware reportedly increased in the first week of February, suggesting that it may have been used. Emotet was a sophisticated and highly destructive malware that first emerged in 2014 as a banking Trojan. Over time, it evolved into a powerful botnet and became one of the most prevalent and dangerous malware strains worldwide. Its primary goal was to steal sensitive information, such as banking credentials, and enable other malicious activities, including the distribution of additional malware. Emotet operated primarily through spam email campaigns, using social engineering techniques to trick users into opening infected attachments or clicking on malicious links. These emails often appeared to be legitimate, mimicking trusted organizations or individuals. Once a user interacted with the malicious content, Emotet would infect the victim's system and establish persistence, making it challenging to detect and remove. The malware used various techniques to propagate within a network, such as brute-forcing weak passwords, exploiting vulnerabilities, and spreading laterally by compromising other devices. Emotet's modular structure allowed it to download and install additional payloads, such as banking Trojans, ransomware, or other malware, depending on the attacker's objectives. A coordinated international task force dubbed "Operation Ladybird" attempted to combat Emotet in January 2021. The effort disrupted infrastructure supporting Emotet, effectively disabling its command-and-control servers and disrupting its operations. While the task force significantly reduced Emotet's prevalence, it reappeared in early 2022.
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