The Look in Brief

Bridgestone factories back online 10 days after cyberattack of unspecified origin

By: - March 10, 2022 6:30 am
The Bridgestone Americas building in Nashville. (Photo: Getty Images)

The Bridgestone Americas building in Nashville. (Photo: Getty Images)

All plants operated by Bridgestone Americas had resumed normal operations by Wednesday — ten days after a cyberattack derailed work at factories operated by the world’s largest tire manufacturer in South and North American, including Tennessee, a company spokeswoman said.

The company, headquartered in Nashville, first learned of the disruption in the early hours of February 27 and union representative at a facility in Warren County Tenn., for days, were directing most workers to stay home.

Emily Weaver, the company spokeswoman, did not directly respond to a question Wednesday about whether company officials had identified the the source of the attack, instead providing a statement that said, in part:

“We are continuing to execute our robust business continuity plans and established governance process to do everything we can to minimize impact to our customers and teammates. We will continue to work diligently to restart all operations efficiently and safely and to address any issues that may affect our operations, our teammates, and our customers.”

A  cyberattack sidelined all 14 production facilities operated by Toyota in Japan last week and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said — in response to reporters’ questions — that his government was investigating a possible link to Russia.  Operations at Toyota were restored within about a day, according to news reporters.

In Toyota’s case, it was a key supplier — Kojima Industries — that was hit. The supplier said it had discovered a file service error and, after rebooting, found their systems had been infected with a virus. The company also found a threatening message, it said in a statement cited by CNN Business, which did not detail the contents of the message.

The after-effects of the internet security breach at Bridgestone lingered longer, with at least one Tennessee union telling workers to stay home for at least four days last week.

Weaver said the company was accelerating the fulfillment of customer orders and delivery via direct shipments from its distribution centers and warehouses.

“Customers will continue to see a steady increase in supply over the coming days as we get back to fully operational status,” she said.

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Anita Wadhwani
Anita Wadhwani

Anita Wadhwani is a senior reporter for the Tennessee Lookout. The Tennessee AP Broadcasters and Media (TAPME) named her Journalist of the Year in 2019 as well as giving her the Malcolm Law Award for Investigative Journalism. Wadhwani is formerly an investigative reporter with The Tennessean who focused on the impact of public policies on the people and places across Tennessee.