FBI Warns of Ransomware Threat to Food and Agriculture Organizations

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FBI Warns of Ransomware Threat to Food and Agriculture Organizations

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), latest private industry notification alerts of ransomware actors likely to target agricultural cooperatives during critical planting and harvest seasons. The attacks aim to disrupt business operations, create financial losses, and impact the supply chain. As described in the report, "The FBI noted ransomware attacks during these seasons against six-grain cooperatives during the fall 2021 harvest and two attacks in early 2022 that could impact the planting season by disrupting the supply of seeds and fertilizer. Cyber actors may perceive cooperatives as lucrative targets with a willingness to pay due to the time-sensitive role they play in agricultural production." Initial attack vectors from threat actors appear from common vulnerabilities with secondary infections resulting from the compromise of network resources or managed services. In 2022 there have been two identified impacts on agricultural companies. A multi-state graining company was impacted by Lockbit 2.0 in March 2022 and in February 2022 a feed milling, agricultural services company identified and prevented a potential network intrusion. There are severe repercussions to supply chain impact from grain production as it would affect consumers, animals, and commodities for trading.

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