FBI: Ransomware Attacks on Agricultural Cooperatives Potentially Timed to Critical Seasons


The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is informing Food and Agriculture (FA) sector partners that ransomware actors may be more likely to attack agricultural cooperatives during critical planting and harvest seasons, disrupting operations, causing financial loss, and negatively impacting the food supply chain.

The FBI noted ransomware attacks during these seasons against six grain cooperatives during the fall 2021 harvest and two attacks in early 2022 that could impact the planting season by disrupting the supply of seeds and fertilizer. Cyber actors may perceive cooperatives as lucrative targets with a willingness to pay due to the timesensitive role they play in agricultural production. Although ransomware attacks against the entire farm-to-table spectrum of the FA sector occur on a regular basis, the number of cyber attacks against agricultural cooperatives during key seasons is notable.

According to a February 2022 Joint Cybersecurity Advisory1 authored by cybersecurity authorities in the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom, ransomware tactics and techniques continued to evolve in 2021.

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Source: U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation Cyber Division