Hackers Targeting Agri & Food Industries Using Ransomware Attack – FBI

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has recently started notifying the companies that are related to the food and agriculture sector regarding a ransomware attack. 

However, on Sept 1 the Private Industry Notification detected the ransomware that is continuously attacking the Food and Agriculture sector meddling with its operations and causing financial loss, not only this but the attack negatively affecting the overall food supply chain.

According to the notice of the FBI, this ransomware may affect businesses across the sector, such as from modest farms to large producers, processors, and manufacturers, as well as markets and restaurants. 

Not only this FBI also claimed that the ransomware threat actors exploit network vulnerabilities with the motive of exfiltrating the data and encrypting the systems of those sectors that are developing with all smart technologies, industrial control systems, and internet-based motorization systems. 

Since the threat actors of the ransomware are continuously targetting the Food and agriculture businesses by causing financial loss that is eventually emerging from the payment of ransomware that is being asked by the threat actors, and not only this the business is also facing the loss of productivity and remediation costs.

The FBI pronounced that these companies might encounter the loss of proprietary data and all kinds of personally identifiable data, and it gives results in reputational damage and that’s when the ransomware attackers get the chance to initiate their operation.

In this ransomware attack, the threat actors encrypt the victims’ files and made them unavailable. Here, the threat actors’ main motive is to demands a lump sum amount of money for the decryption tool and key. 

“Ransomware attacks targeting the Food and Agriculture sector disrupt operations, cause financial loss, and 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.” FBI said.

Recommended Mitigations

There are some steps that will help the companies to overcome this situation, as soon as possible, that’s why here we have mentioned the recommended steps below:-

  • Always keep a full backup of the data, air gap, and password-protect backup copies offline.
  • Implement network segmentation.
  • Perform a compensation plan to maintain and preserve multiple copies of delicate data and servers in a physically separate, segmented, secure location.
  • Always install the latest updates/patches of the operating systems, software, and firmware as soon as they are released. 
  • Remember to use multifactor authentication with strong passphrases where possible. 
  • Always prefer Using strong passwords and regularly change passwords of the network systems and accounts.
  • Disable unused remote access/RDP ports and monitor remote access/RDP logs.

Moreover, the FBI asserted that every business should follow the suggested mitigations properly, as it will surely help them to circumvent this unwanted ransomware attack.

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BALAJI is an Ex-Security Researcher (Threat Research Labs) at Comodo Cybersecurity. Editor-in-Chief & Co-Founder - Cyber Security News & GBHackers On Security.