Stock Groups

systems offline due to cybersecurity incident By Reuters


By Karl Plume and Christopher Bing

CHICAGO (Reuters) -Iowa-based farm services provider NEW Cooperative Inc said on Monday its systems were offline to contain a “cybersecurity” incident just as the U.S. farm belt gears up for harvest.

This cooperative owns and operates grain storage facilities in top U.S. Corn-producing States. It also buys and sells fertilizer, as well as technology platforms to provide advice to farmers about how to increase their harvests.

NEW Cooperative Inc released a statement saying that it had taken its systems offline as a proactive measure to deal with the threat. We also quickly notified the law enforcement, and we are working with data security specialists to resolve this situation.

Reuters reached out to several NEW Cooperative grain storage elevators.

The timing of the attack is making it crucial that NEW gets their systems back online as soon as possible as many farmers will start their combines this week and begin delivering crops to NEW’s elevators across Iowa, said Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities in West Des Moines, Iowa.

“They have got you boxed into a corner,” Roose said. “Harvest is right now. This is the week that we are just starting to ramp up harvest, particularly for soybeans.”

Cybersecurity has risen to the top of the agenda for the Biden administration after a series of high-profile attacks on network management company SolarWinds Corp, the Colonial Pipeline’s oil network, meat processing company JBS and software firm Kaseya. This attack did not only affect the companies targeted, but also fuel and food supplies.

The spokesperson of the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency did not respond to a request for comment about the NEW Cooperative incident.

A request to comment was not received by the Federal Bureau of Investigation immediately.

Allan Liska (a senior analyst at Recorded Future in the United States) stated that this was a clear attack against an organization which is part of our critical infrastructure. This could cause disruptions in food delivery across the country.

BlackMatter, a Russian-speaking cybercriminal organization that claims to have stolen data from NEW Cooperative recently stated on its website.

BlackMatter, a cybercriminal group that uses ransomware to threaten victims with data breaches and extort them for crypto currency payments, is well-known.

This claim is based on a meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden (Russia) and Vladimir Putin in July. Biden was reported to have told Putin that ransomware gangs should not be allowed into “critical infrastructure” businesses.

According to federal prosecutors, ransomware gangs often originate from Russia and Ukraine according to cybersecurity experts. The “food and agriculture” industry is publicly defined as a critical infrastructure sector by the Department of Homeland Security.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. CFDs include futures, stocks, indexes and Forex. Prices are provided not by the exchanges. They are provided by market makers. Therefore, prices can be inaccurate and differ from actual market prices. These prices should not be used for trading. Fusion Media is not responsible for trading losses that may be incurred as a consequence of the use of this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Trading the financial markets is one of most risky investment options. Please make sure you are fully aware about the costs and risks involved.