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AGCO Resumes Majority of Operations After Cyberattack

Company will increase production to mitigate loss from ransomware attack

2 Lisa Selfie December 2020 Headshot

AGCO reports its efforts to restore systems and business operations are continuing successfully following a ransomware cyberattack that was discovered May 5, 2022.

A majority of the affected production sites and parts operations have resumed operational activities the company said in a statement on its website.

The remainder of the sites are expected to begin operations during the balance of this week with the goal being all factories and parts operations operating by May 20.

Data theft occurred

AGCO also reported there had been data exfiltration as a result of the ransomware cyberattack.

Data exfiltration occurs when malware and/or a malicious actor carries out an unauthorized data transfer from a computer. It is also commonly called data extrusion or data exportation. Data exfiltration is also considered a form of data theft.

While AGCO does not have retail operations, and therefore no privacy-protected consumer data, the company is still evaluating the scope and consequences of the data loss.

Although damage from the ransomware cyberattack could require more in-depth and lengthy remediation and recovery than is currently expected, AGCO expects to be able to mitigate the production loss from the ransomware cyberattack by increasing production over the remainder of 2022.

Cyberattacks increasing against grain cooperatives

In April, 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.

“Cyberactors 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 may have impacted 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 said.

Prepare your grain processing or feed milling facility

In 2021, there were 500 million attempts by bad actors to access corporate data, which is a million and half attempts each day.

Sarah Engstrom, CISO and VP IT security, productivity and privacy, CHS Inc., says cyberthreats have gotten worse in the last 18 months. If you haven’t invested, now is a good time to start.

“Some of you may have already experienced a cyberthreat,” says Engstrom. “The saying is, ‘It’s not if, it’s when.’ Be prepared.”

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