Restart of Japan's busiest cargo port delayed after Russia-based hack

Container movements at Japan's busiest cargo port are set to fully restart Thursday afternoon, a Nagoya port association said, after an extended delay caused by the need to recover a computer system attacked by Russia-based hackers.

The Port of Nagoya in Aichi Prefecture, central Japan, -- a shipping hub for Toyota Motor Corp. which is headquartered in the prefecture -- initially planned to resume operations on Thursday morning but the computer system infected with a ransomware virus took until 7:30 a.m. to repair, the Nagoya Harbor Transportation Association said.

Logistics at the port, a gateway for many car and car parts manufacturers based in the region, have been suspended since Tuesday, potentially disrupting shipping plans for some vehicle and component makers.

The computer system managing the loading of containers failed Tuesday morning after becoming infected with the virus. The hacker group, LockBit 3.0, demanded a ransom for returning control of the system, according to the association.

The association said it has not been in contact with LockBit 3.0 and has also not paid any random.

Toyota said Wednesday it cannot load or unload parts due to the glitch.

"We will closely monitor any impact on production while carefully examining the parts inventory," the company said.

The world's biggest automaker by volume said the loading and unloading of complete vehicles has been unaffected because it is managed using a different computer system.

The Aichi prefectural police have launched an investigation into the cyberattack.

Ransomware is malware that encrypts data and allows the attacker to demand payment in exchange for restoring access.

The port has been Japan's largest since 2002. Its cargo throughput volume in 2022 reached 163.58 million tons, according to the port operator, Nagoya Port Authority.

© Kyodo News