Monday, June 26, 2017

WannaCry Attack

The widespread WannaCry ransomware virus has made its way to a Honda assembly plants computer network in Japan- and has forced Honda to temporarily shut down operations. Reports from Japan claim that the virus has affected the carmakers computer networks in North America, Europe, China, and other parts of the world as well. The shutdown has delayed production of some of the Honda’s key vehicles, including the Accord sedan and Odyssey minivan. The plant, which is located about an hour northwest of Honda’s Tokyo headquarters, produces approximately 1,000 vehicles every day.

The WannaCry virus was discovered about a month ago after rapidly infecting computer networks around the world. It briefly shut down operations at a number of British hospitals, among other things and caused production delays at both French automaker Renault and its Japanese alliance partner Nissan. More than one million computers in 150 various countries were affected by the ransomware attack. U.S. intelligence agencies have reason to believe that the virus was unleashed by the North Korean government.

Hackers wouldn’t normally be able to pull off such a feat without tricking unassuming internet users into providing their passwords to their networks, which is the traditional way that hackers capitalize on easy online revenue. However, experts on the topic say that new software is being developed to bypass this step. A security hole in outdated versions of Microsoft Windows made these particular attacks possible.  Businesses are often slow to upgrade their operating system, and many fail to update the system in order to protect it from various security holes of the like.

As for how Honda is doing, production has resumed and they have taken steps to reinforce their virus protection regimen to avoid any similar occurrences in the future.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Honda CR-Z Tribute

The Honda CR-Z was an auto anomaly that unfortunately didn’t make as many waves as it should have, and has sadly been discontinued. The best qualities about the CR-Z would be its unique style, deft handling, and surprisingly good fuel economy. This is an odd combination, and one could easily imagine that the subtle novelty and scarce demographic attributed to its minimal reach. It wasn’t unique enough to create a buzz, and still not practical enough to overtake the reigning Honda models spotlight.

From what I’ve read about the death of the CR-Z, however, I don’t think that many people ever gave it a chance. The statistics weren’t as impressive as one might have expected, but you can’t capture a cars essence in a photo or on a stat sheet. I say this because I have personally experienced the CR-Zs essence, and I absolutely adore this car.

I was working at our very own Honda dealership last year. It was my first time getting close and personal with Honda, so I was full of curiosity. Alas, supreme fuel economy and practical cargo space didn’t incite my favor. When I first saw the CR-Z, however, I was very taken with it. It was so small, so cute, and so cheeky! I couldn’t wait to take a customer on a test drive and see the inside. Alas; there were no calls, no inquiries and no bites.

My day of reckoning finally came when I had the opportunity to take a car from our inventory to another dealer for a temporary swap. I meekly asked if I could take the CR-Z, thinking that the answer would be no (I naively assumed it was the most expensive car on the lot), but I was pleasantly surprised. The CR-Z was actually the most affordable new car on the lot, and I was free to take it!

I giddily skipped my way to our shiny, iridescent little gem. I was greeted by attractive performance seats upholstered in black cloth with sporty accents. I hastily plopped into the sunken driver’s seat, shut the door and immediately began feeling and smelling the materials. I inhaled its lovely new car scent, flung myself around to test the space, and concluded my tour by blissfully resting my face against the steering wheel for a few minutes. I really like this car.

As I looked out the window, the symmetry of the control buttons in my peripherals was very satisfying. The buttons were all close to the wheel, and exactly where I wanted them to be. Once I ventured out, I felt an irrepressible need to speed down every road and whip around every corner. The car felt incredibly lightweight and deft- offering me boundless fun! I happily soaked up the LED lights glowing from the gauge cluster at a stoplight. I ceremoniously twisted my hands over the smooth, slightly plush steering wheel... I thoroughly enjoyed my little escapade, and could barely stand to leave the car when I arrived at the other dealership!

There aren’t many of these little gems left out there, but if you ever have to opportunity, be sure to check it out. They’re quite unique, and they’re a lot of fun to drive. I’m so glad I had the chance.

Farewell for now, CR-Z.