The FBI has urged agricultural companies to take the threat of ransomware attacks seriously.
A US farm suffered $ 9 million in financial damage due to a temporary shutdown due to a ransomware attack in which an unknown group gained access to the farm’s internal network using compromised credentials.
The incident, which took place in January 2021, is one of the worst consequences of ransomware attacks cited by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation in warning for enterprises in the agricultural sector.
The media most often covers incidents involving ransomware attacks on local governments, healthcare and education organizations, but this does not mean that ransomware ignores other industries, the FBI warns.
The agency cited several cases involving agricultural businesses illustrating the consequences of neglect of cybersecurity. In particular, in November last year, an unnamed food and agricultural company suffered from an extortion attack, the organizers of which demanded a $ 40 million ransom from it. Fortunately, the company did not have to pay as it was able to restore data from backups.
In May 2021, ransomware disrupted the operations of an American beverage company, and in July of the same year, a bakery in the United States fell victim to an attack on MSP provider Kaseya, which affected hundreds of organizations around the world. The company lost access to the server, files and applications and was forced to suspend operations.
In the same month, an attack by extortionist group REvil paralyzed production at the world’s largest meat supplier, JBS Foods. The incident led to delays in the supply of products to the United States and provoked a rise in meat prices by 25%.
The FBI has urged food and agriculture companies to take the threat of ransomware attacks seriously and invest in protecting their IT networks. Among the most common penetration methods, the agency named weakly protected RDP services, phishing emails with malicious files, and exploitation of vulnerabilities in vulnerable devices connected to the Internet.
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