FBI Warns Food and Agriculture Firms of Ransomware Threat


Phil Muncaster, Infosecurity Magazine

3 Sep 2021


The FBI has issued a new alert warning companies in the food and agricultural sector that they are increasingly at risk of ransomware as their corporate attack surface expands.


The Private Industry Notification, seen by Infosecurity, noted that the vertical is a critical infrastructure sector which, if impacted by such threats, could negatively impact the food supply chain.


“Ransomware may impact businesses across the sector, from small farms to large producers, processors and manufacturers, and markets and restaurants,” it continued. “Cyber-criminal threat actors exploit network vulnerabilities to exfiltrate data and encrypt systems in a sector that is increasingly reliant on smart technologies, industrial control systems and internet-based automation systems.”


Attacks may target larger organizations, deemed more likely to pay higher ransom demands, and smaller firms perceived as softer targets. For both, the increasing move to IoT may offer a new attack surface to target, the FBI warned.


“According to a private industry report, cyber actors may gradually broaden their attack from just IT and business processes to also include the operational technology (OT) assets, which monitor and control physical processes, impacting industrial production regardless of whether the malware was deployed in IT or OT systems,” it noted...


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