US Agriculture industry hit with ransomware attack

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One of the industries listed as “off limits” by President Biden was subject to a ransomware attack this week, disrupting the operations of two farming co-ops in Iowa and Minnesota.

During a meeting with Vladimir Putin in June, Biden made the Kremlin aware that cyber attacks targeting 16 different industries, including agriculture, would not be tolerated.

The meeting was following the cyberattacks that shut down both the meat supplier JBS and the US’s largest fuel pipeline. Read more here.

Crystal Valley, a Minnesota based farm supply and grain marketing cooperative had their daily operations “severely interrupted” by a “ransomware attack that infected the computer system”.

The following day there was another attack, this time targeting NEW Cooperative, a farming co-op in Iowa. Reports stated that hackers had demanded a cryptocurrency payment of $5.9 million (£4.3 million) for renewed access to their supply chains.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Russian cybercrime group BlackMatter are to blame for the attack.

“We are bringing the full weight of U.S. government capabilities to disrupt the ransomware networks and facilitators behind this disruptive activity.” said an NSC spokesperson.

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