Automobile production screeched to a halt in a Honda factory in Japan this week after the company found that computers in the manufacturing plant were infected with the WannaCry virus, according to multiple reports.

Honda had to shut down production at its Sayama plant, which is northwest of Tokyo, the company told Reuters. Production resumed at the plant on Tuesday. The factory produces 1,000 vehicles a day, including the Accord sedan and the Odyssey minivan.

According to Reuters, Honda attempted to protect its computer network in May when the virus first hit networks in hospitals, factories, governments, and other types of businesses across 150 countries. But, despite its efforts to secure its network, Honda discovered on Sunday that the virus had affected company computers in Japan, China, Europe, and North America.

In May, the virus infected computers at Renault and Nissan plants and automaking alliance companies closed factories in England, France, India, Japan, and Romania last month, Reuters reports.

WannaCry, which takes advantage of vulnerabilities in old versions of Microsoft products and Windows machines, is a ransomware attack. The ransomware attack encrypts all files on an infected computer and demands payment via bitcoin. If the ransom is not paid, the virus deletes the data. WannaCry infected an estimated one million machines across 150 countries, making it one of the largest cyberattacks in history. The virus caused real-world damage--hospitals, manufacturing plants, local government, and businesses of all types closed temporarily while dealing with computer network infections.

WannaCry is based off code that was created by the National Security Agency, the intelligence agency said. In April, the code was stolen and the NSA linked WannaCry to North Korea.

During a congressional hearing about WannaCry last week, Representative Darin LaHood (R-Ill.) said that the virus will not be the last global cyber attack to affect companies.

"Cyber security experts have expressed significant concerns that WannaCry is only a preview of a more sophisticated ransomware infection that many believe will inevitably be launched by hackers in the near future," LaHood said.

Published on: Jun 22, 2017