Toei Animation claims recent hack caused by downloading third-party software, assures fans that “anime production is working more or less normally”


In the latest saga update of Toei Animation’s recent anime delay hack, the studio claimed that the digital disruption was caused by employee error.

RELATED: Toei Animation Reveals Recent Hack Was Result of Targeted Ransomware Attack

As previously reported, on March 6, Toei Animation fell victim to a massive ransomware attack, the effects of which caused the studio’s several anime productions to be delayed, including One Piece and the long-awaited Dragon Ball Super Super Hero movie.

Source: Dragon Ball Super: Super Heroes (2022), Toei Animation

Five days later, Toei Animation would publicly reveal the hack, announcing in an official statement that an unauthorized third party had gained access to the company’s network and, in doing so, caused a partial shutdown of the company’s internal computer systems.

At the time, as reported by the Japanese media NHKthe studio “believed the cyberattack was caused by ‘ransomware,’ a ransomware-type computer virus.”

Source: Digimon Ghost Game Season 1 Episode 8 “Night Procession of Monsters” (2021), Toei Animation

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Following further investigation into the matter, Toei Animation has now revealed that the hack was caused by “an employee of the company [who] downloaded business-required software from an external website, which had been tampered with in order to simultaneously download software that would serve as an entry point for ransomware infiltration.

Source: One Piece Episode 1015 “Straw Hat Luffy – The Man Who Will Become King of the Pirates” (2022), Toei Animation

Speaking about their subsequent “response and investigation,” the studio explained in an April 28 press release. “When the unauthorized access to its network mentioned above was confirmed, the company took various actions, including immediately shutting down parts of its internal system and restricting access from the outside.”

“In addition, the company not only promptly reported the incident to the relevant authorities, but also conducted appropriate and necessary responses and investigations involving external security specialists,” they added, before assuring the fans, “As of today, following the implementation of security measures, all of the Company’s internal systems are more or less standardized.

Source: Dragon Quest: The Adventures of Dai Episode 34 “Romos’ Martial Arts Tournament” (2021), Toei Animation

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Regarding the impact of the hack, Toei Animation explained that “due to the unauthorized access by a third party, parts of the company’s server and PC data were encrypted after being infected with the ransomware, which caused delays in some parts of regular operations”. and anime production for about a month.

Additionally, their “external security specialists” thankfully found no evidence of “leaking information, including that of personal information” or reporting “customer harm” – a finding that is either extremely lucky, a lie intended to keep the truth a secret. (I really pray that it’s the first and not the second),

Source: Digimon Ghost Game Season 1 Episode 4 “Doll’s Mansion” (2021), Toei Animation

Although there were numerous claims on social media that the ransomware was present in the program because the Toei employee downloaded an illegally pirated version of the software, there is no supporting evidence. of this statement.

Instead, it appears that this assertion stems from a misunderstanding of the term “third party” in relation to business and web hosting, which in these contexts refers to anything that is not produced or operated by an individual’s given employer, rather than anything illegal.

Source: Dragon Quest: The Adventures of Dai Episode 68 “The Last Challenge” (2022), Toei Animation

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For example, for an employee of Toei Animation, free software such as Slack, Discord or Audacity would all be considered third parties because the Japanese entertainment conglomerate is not involved in the management or distribution of these tools.

At the time of writing, the exact program the employee was attempting to download, as well as where the contaminated software was obtained, have not yet been made public.

Source: Digimon Adventure Tri Chapter 1: Reunion (2015), Toei Animation

Ultimately, the “Toei Animation Hack Saga” might be one of the funniest things to come out of 2022 so far.

After all, how is it in 2022? This isn’t 1998, when the Internet was most readily available via AOL dial-up and computers were a niche hobby.

Source: Digimon Ghost Game Season 1 Episode 24 “Twisted Love” (2022), Toei Animation

If my parents in their 60s can both figure out how to use anti-virus software for their personal computers, you’d imagine a large entertainment conglomerate could do the same.

What do you think of Toei Animation’s explanation of their recent hack? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments below!

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