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AGCO experiences cyberattack

AGCO experiences cyberattack

The company announced it suffered a ransomware attack on May 5

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

Cybercriminals have targeted a major ag equipment manufacturer.

AGCO announced on May 5 that some of its production facilities experienced ransomware attacks.

“AGCO is still investigating the extent of the attack, but it 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 (AGCO) is able to repair its systems,” the company said in a May 6 statement.

Farms.com contacted AGCO for further comment but a spokesperson redirected Farms.com to the company’s official statement.

Ransomware works by locking users out of their computer networks. Hackers then ask for a payment before giving back access.

The average payout for hackers is between $150,000 and $170,000, Group-IB, a cybersecurity company, said in one of its reports.

It’s unclear which locations the hackers targeted, but AGCO has multiple manufacturing, assembly and distribution sites across the United States.

The cyberattack on AGCO comes a few weeks after the FBI reminded the ag sector to take necessary data safety precautions.

An April 20 Private Industry Notification from the FBI warned that cybercriminals could strike during planting or harvest seasons.

The U.S. ag sector has experienced at least two prior cyberattacks this year, and six between Sept. 15 and Oct. 16 of 2021.

An Oct. 1 attack targeting Sandhills Global which owns multiple industry auction websites, was believed to come from the hands of Conti, a group with Russian ties.

The federal government recently announced a reward for information which helps identify and locate members of Conti.

The Department of State is offering up to $15 million ($10 million for information on identity and location, $5 million for information leading to arrests/convictions).

As of Jan. 2022, “there had been over 1,000 victims of attacks associated with Conti ransomware with victim payouts exceeding $150,000,000,” the department said in a May 6 statement.

Visit VLinteractive.com to learn more about professional managed IT services that can help protect your agribusiness from cyberattacks and other digital security threats.


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