Japanese vid-sharing site Niconico needs rebuild after cyberattack

Offline for four days and counting, as are parent company and e-commerce brand

Japanese media conglomerate Kadokawa and several of its properties have been offline for four days after a major cyber attack.

A Sunday statement posted to a temporary website reveals that the group detected an issue that prevented access to multiple servers early on Saturday, June 8.

"In response to this incident, we immediately shut down the relevant servers to protect the data," the statement reads (after machine translation), adding that management has concluded "a high possibility that we were the victim of a cyber attack."

Kadokawa's corporate site remains down – a static HTML replacement has been erected – while video-sharing site Niconico currently offers nothing other than a statement that it is undergoing maintenance, and an apology for that state of affairs.

That's because, as revealed in a late Monday Xeet, the service advised that its team is working on a complete rebuild, even as it also tries to determine the nature of the attack. That announcement followed an earlier status report advising that cyber attacks were ongoing, and no resolution to the issue was in sight.

When working, Niconico looks and behaves a lot like YouTube, and is Japan's second-most-popular vid-sharing site. Its absence is therefore being keenly felt – both by audiences and by creators who rely on it for income.

Another Kadokawa brand whose website is currently unavailable – e-commerce service Ebiten – currently offers only a page advising customers that existing orders will be fulfilled, but the outfit can't send confirmation emails.

The page also reassures customers that Ebiten does not store credit card details on its own servers.

Kadokawa has, at the time of writing, offered no details of the attack – and nothing to suggest it has developed any understanding of the incident.

Ebiten’s ability to ship products suggests back-office apps remain operational – meaning web infrastructure may be the problem.

But none of the statements from impacted brands suggest restoration will be swift. ®

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