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The port of Nagoya – which shifted 2.68 million shipping containers and 164 million tons of cargo in 2022 – has moved precious few in the last 24 hours after finding itself the latest victim of Russia’s notorious LockBit ransomware gang.

The facility’s operators have posted a trio of updates detailing the incident – the first of which, dated July 5, states that ransomware is the reason for a halt to cargo movements. Japanese media have reported substantial disruptions at the port and named LockBit as the culprit.

Machine translation of the port’s most recent announcement suggests systems were restored early on Thursday, Japan time, and operations should resume in the afternoon. Nagoya Port has not said if it paid a ransom.

Nagoya boasts it’s been Japan’s largest and busiest port for 21 years running, including its status as a primary through-point for automotive giant Toyota. That makes this incident a very unwelcome supply chain interruption – and demonstrating why the likes of LockBit would consider it a target.

The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) assessment of LockBit is that it’s a ransomware-as-a-service operator that works with affiliates that conduct attacks. CISA rated the outfit 2022’s most prolific ransomware operator, and as clever enough that it often changes tactics to avoid detection.

It’s also cheeky: CISA believes it has staged publicity stunts such as paying people to get LockBit tattoos as part of its efforts to recruit affiliates.

Those activities have been successful. Infosec agencies from seven nations recently issued a joint advisory in which they estimated that since 2020 LockBit has cost victims in the US alone over $90 million – the result of around 1,700 attacks.

Among its victims are suppliers to Taiwanese chipmaking titan TSMC and SpaceX.

The gang is not invulnerable, though. In June 2023 the FBI cuffed a Russian man suspected of being a member, and is pursuing at least two other cases against alleged operatives. ®

Source: TheRegister   By: Simon Sharwood

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