PIXABAY

May 09, 2022

AGCO Targeted in Ransomware Attack

U.S. agricultural machinery maker says business operations will be impacted for several days

On Friday, AGCO, a global manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment based in the U.S., including grain bin manufacturer GSI, announced it was subject to a ransomware attack that has impacted some of its production facilities.

GSI_40Series-bin-in-field-VIA-AGCO_may-2022
Photo: AGCO

AGCO did not disclose the names of the facilities or if any data was stolen, but said it was still probing the extent of the attack that occurred on Thursday and working to repair its systems.

The company is anticipated that its business operations will be adversely affected for several days and potentially longer to fully resume all services depending upon how quickly the company is able to repair its systems.

According to reports, the company's dealers were having a hard time accessing AGCO's website for ordering and parts information.

AGCO said it will provide updates as the situation progresses.

FBI warning to grain cooperatives

On April 20, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in a new Private Industry Notification, warned the agrifood industry that ransomware actors may be more likely to attack agricultural cooperatives during critical planting and harvest seasons.

“Cyber actors may perceive cooperatives as lucrative targets with a willingness to pay due to the time sensitive role they play in agricultural production,” the FBI stated.

Ransomware attacks against six grain cooperatives
during the fall 2021 harvest disrupted the food supply chain and two attacks in early 2022 could impact the planting season by disrupting the supply of seeds and fertilizer.

“Although ransomware attacks against the entire farm-to-table spectrum of the (food and agriculture) sector occur on a regular basis, the number of cyberattacks against agricultural cooperatives during key seasons is notable,” the notice states.

AGCO, which competes with Deere & Co., sells tractors and combines, manufactures and assembles products in 42 locations worldwide with 1,810 dealerships in North America. AGCO acquired GSI in 2011, which named it one of its five core brands. Other major brands include Massey Ferguson, Challenger, Fendt and Valtra.

Lisa Cleaver

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