AGCO, a well-known agricultural machinery manufacturer, announced that it was hit by a ransomware attack that affected some of its production facilities.
AGCO dealers say tractor sales have stalled during the most important planting season in the U.S.
Tim Brannon, president of regional distributor B&G Equipment Inc, said he has been unable to access the AGCO website to order and find parts since Thursday (May 5). “We’re entering the busiest period of the year and that’s going to be very damaging to our business and our customers,” he said.
Operation of some AGCO production facilities affected, possibly for several days
AGCO did not provide any details about the disruption, but the company may shut down some IT systems to stop the offensive from spreading.
“AGCO is still investigating the severity of the attack and expects business operations to be negatively impacted in the next few days, and it may even take longer to fully restore full service. The recovery cycle depends on the company’s speed of system repair, and we will follow suit. Updates will be posted as the situation progresses.”
According to the official press release, the investigation is still ongoing, and the impact of the attack is expected to last for a long time.
AGCO is one of the giants in the agricultural machinery manufacturing industry with annual revenues in excess of $9 billion, 21,000 employees and brands including Fendt, Massey Ferguson, Challenger, Gleaner and Valtra.
Therefore, any production disruption caused by a ransomware attack could have significant supply chain impacts on AGCO’s equipment production and delivery.
The ransomware attack came at a time when U.S. agricultural machinery manufacturers were also facing ongoing supply chain disruptions and strikes, making it difficult to keep up with farmers’ equipment needs.
Foreign media contacted AGCO on this matter, hoping to learn more about the attack. But a spokesman said there was no further information to disclose.
AGCO shares closed down 5.76% at $123.3 on Friday.
Agriculture has gradually become a key target of ransomware attacks
The FBI recently (April 2022) again warned that ransomware attacks are increasingly targeting the U.S. agriculture sector, highlighting two major cases in 2022.
Previously, in September 2021, the FBI issued a similar warning for the first time. Not long after that, two large agricultural cooperatives, NEW Cooperative and Crystal Valley, suffered a major ransomware attack.
Currently, all entities directly related to U.S. food production and supply are considered critical infrastructure. Malicious hackers hope to make huge profits by coercing victims into submission.
Affected by the tense international political situation, some cyberattacks may also be retaliatory motivated, aimed at disrupting the production activities of US critical infrastructure enterprises.
On May 5, AGCO announced a donation of funds and seeds to farmers in war-affected areas of Ukraine. Therefore, the possibility of Russian hackers carrying out retaliatory attacks on this cannot be ruled out.
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