FBI warns of ransomware attacks against Food and Agriculture sectors

According to the agency, the impact of these ransomware attacks can be devastating for both small to big businesses.
FBI warns of ransomware against Food and Agriculture sectors

According to the agency, the impact of these ransomware attacks can be devastating for both small to big businesses.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crime Complaint Center has issued an alert to warn companies part of the food and agriculture sectors about the growing threat of ransomware attacks in these sectors. 

Companies Using Smart Technology Vulnerable to Attacks!

The growth in IoT devices across food and agriculture sectors has allowed threat actors to launch ransomware attacks. Research suggests that most food companies are now reliant on IoT devices and smart technology for their operations and processes. Attackers are looking to exploit these devices to fulfill their malicious objectives.

According to the Private Industry Notification released by the FBI

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,” the Federal agency explained i

The FBI further noted that attackers aim to target large, established organizations to make more money through ransom while smaller firms would become soft targets.

Attackers will Exploit Vulnerabilities in Smart Devices

The FBI further states that, threat actors are trying to expand their corporate attack scope. If they could target these sectors, it will negatively affect the food supply chain. They can easily exploit network flaws in IoT devices and exfiltrate data or encrypt systems.

“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.”

Ransomware Attack may Cause Unimaginable Collateral Damage.

The warning read that the ransomware attack against the food/agriculture sector will impact businesses everywhere, from small-scale farms to large producers, manufacturers, processors, restaurants, markets, etc. There will be sufficient productivity loss, personal and proprietary information theft, financial losses, and reputation damage to the targeted organization (s).

Basic security against ransomware attacks

Regardless of which industry you are connected to there are basic steps to avoid ransomware attacks. These includes:

  • Installing anti-virus software and keep it updated
  • Regularly scanning your network for vulnerability (especially 0-days)
  • Always keeping the firewall activated on the browser
  • Never sharing your personal information or any sensitive data online unless you are sure of the authenticity of the platform
  • Never click on suspicious links or pop-ups that claim how your system is infected with malicious programs, and you need to ‘click’ to clean up.
  • Keeping a backup ready, in case your data gets lost
  • Saving your data in the cloud, it safeguards your files and makes data recovery easier.
  • Keeping the operating system and other crucial applications on your computer up to date.

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