Cyber Attack Paralyzes Japan’s Largest Port: Ransomware to Blame

Estimated read time 2 min read

A major recent development, officially reported by BleepingComputer’s Bill Toulas, has sent shockwaves through the global trade industry. The Port of Nagoya, standing as the busiest and largest port in Japan, has been brought to a grinding halt. The perpetrator? A crippling ransomware attack. This dire situation highlights the ever-present and escalating cybersecurity risks that key infrastructure entities worldwide face daily.

Port of Nagoya: Japan’s Trade Giant

Representing nearly 10% of Japan’s total trade volume, the Port of Nagoya isn’t just another port. It’s a pivotal cog in Japan’s economic machine. Operating 21 piers and 290 berths, this port juggles over two million containers and a mind-boggling 165 million tons of cargo each year.

Add to this the fact that this port is the primary export gateway for Toyota Motor Corporation, one of the world’s automotive industry titans, and the scale of the problem becomes disturbingly clear.

Port of Nagoya | Image by Google Maps
Port of Nagoya | Image by Google Maps

The Ransomware Strike: Operations at a Standstill

The administrative force behind the Port of Nagoya revealed a significant glitch today – a hiccup with grave repercussions. The “Nagoya Port Unified Terminal System” (NUTS) — the lifeblood of the port’s container terminals — is down, thanks to a ransomware attack that struck on July 4, 2023, at approximately 06:30 AM local time.

Post a meticulous investigation, alongside the Nagoya Port Operation Association Terminal Committee and the Aichi Prefectural Police Headquarters, the Nagoya Port authority confirmed, “The problem was a ransomware infection.”

Counting the Costs: A Race Against Time

As every minute passes, the Port of Nagoya authority is working tirelessly to revive the NUTS system by 6 PM today, with the ambition to reinstate operations by 08:30 AM tomorrow. However, time isn’t the only thing this port is hemorrhaging.

With all container loading and unloading operations at the terminals currently on hold, the monetary losses are mounting up fast. Add to this the significant disruption to the movement of goods to and from Japan, and we’re looking at a formidable fallout.

A Rerun of Cybersecurity Threats

This isn’t the Port of Nagoya’s first dance with cyber threats. On September 6, 2022, the port’s website went dark for about 40 minutes due to a DDoS attack, courtesy of the pro-Russian group, Killnet. But this ransomware attack has surpassed previous incidents, dealing a heavier blow.

Reza Rafati

Reza Rafati, based in the Netherlands, is the founder of An industry professional providing insightful commentary on infosec, cybercrime, cyberwar, and threat intelligence, Reza dedicates his work to bolster digital defenses and promote cyber awareness.

You May Also Like

More From Author