• Wed. Sep 28th, 2022

Ransomware attack hits leading agricultural equipment manufacturer AGCO

ByRandall B. Phelps

May 6, 2022

A ransomware attack has disrupted production at AGCO, a major US supplier of agricultural equipment, including tractors and harvesters.

The company confirmed the incident today after media reports in France reported A cyberattack hit several AGCO sites across the country on Thursday, including a tractor assembly plant.

The company mentioned“AGCO is still investigating the extent of the attack, but it is expected that its business operations will be impacted for several days and potentially longer to fully resume all services depending on how quickly the company is able to repair its systems.”

Little else is known, such as which strain of ransomware infected the company’s systems or whether AGCO will pay the ransom. At this time, a company spokesperson told us they had nothing to add, but said AGCO plans to provide updates.

According to French media, the company realized it had come under attack on Thursday morning. The ensuing disruption rendered AGCO servers inaccessible and forced the shutdown of production at affected company sites.

The attack risks preventing AGCO from serving its agricultural customers around the world. Last month, the FBI sounded the alarm about how hackers are spreading ransomware to groups of farmers during planting and farming seasons.

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The aim behind the attacks is to pressure farmer groups into paying ransom demands, which can involve paying out hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. But in the worst-case scenario, the disruptions could also affect the food supply chain, the FBI warned. As an example, the agency cited an incident in March involving a ransomware attack that hit a “multi-state grain” processing company that also provides seed and fertilizer services.

In response, the FBI provided a list of tips on how farmer groups can protect themselves from such attacks. They include creating backups, quickly installing the latest software patches, and enabling multi-factor authentication on login systems whenever possible.

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