Bridgestone looks into security issue impacting Aiken workers

Published: Feb. 28, 2022 at 6:29 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - Operations remain stalled at Bridgestone tire plants as investigators look into what the company calls a “potential information security incident.”

The company, which has two plants in Aiken County, has shut down facilities across two continents.

We’re still waiting to hear back from Bridgestone on several of our questions. We’re wondering if this was a cyberattack or if it has anything to do with the Ukraine invasion.

Bridgestone says it’s out of an abundance of caution to try and get as much information as they can throughout this comprehensive investigation. We spoke with one local cyber expert who says it’s easier said than done.

“It is extremely difficult. They’ll start into one system, and then they’ll break into another, and then they’ll attack the target,” said Jeffrey Morris, Augusta University assistant professor in computer and cyber sciences.

Since around 1:30 a.m. Sunday, everything has been offline.

An anonymous employee said: “He said all he really knows is it’s like ransomware. They have no computer access at all over there, none.”

There’s no way to send out schedules, figure out the need for production, or operate in general.

“I stepped through, and I instantly noticed it wasn’t that loud and none of the machines were moving, and everyone was just standing around. I was like what is going on,” they said.

Morris says cyberattacks happen everywhere, all the time.

“Much bigger than the idea of it’s a lone person sitting in a dark basement drinking energy drinks and typing away at a computer. These are very sophisticated many times these are criminal gangs,” he said.

With the conflict in Ukraine, cyber security is being heightened across the globe. He says it’s essential to have a good antivirus and cyber security program, keep your software up to date and make sure your data is in a safe place, across all your devices.

The employee said: “I don’t work, we struggle. Everything’s going up, but my check.”

They must wait until corporate can complete their comprehensive investigation.

Morris said: “It may take them anywhere from days to weeks to recover.”

Copyright 2022 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.