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Senators Call on DHS to Address Ransomware Attacks

Iowa Senators Grassley and Ernst note continued attacks will affect food supply chain


Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) pressing the agency to address the rise in ransomware attacks, particularly damaging to the agricultural industry.

This comes after two recent cyberattacks on Iowa grain cooperatives.

“Like many of the Iowans we represent, we are concerned about the growing ransomware attacks in the nation’s agricultural sector," the senators wrote.

"The agricultural sector is designated as one of the country’s 16 critical infrastructure industries, but historically has not received robust cybersecurity support from the government.

"The extent of the damage from the NEW Cooperative and Farmers Cooperative Elevator Co. attacks is not isolated to the grain market," the senators wrote.

"Feed from the cooperatives’ grain supply sustains millions of livestock. These attacks will affect the supply chain that puts food on the shelves in grocery stores across the country.

"As Iowa farmers adopt new technologies to get their crops to market, their exposure grows to similar attacks," they continued.

"That exposure not only risks the livelihood of Iowa farmers, it risks food security for Americans."

Grassley and Ernst also requested a response from Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas relating to the agency’s preparation for future cybersecurity attacks and how the agricultural sector will be integrated into its plans.

Full text of the letter can be found here.

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