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HomeNewsFBI warns cyberattacks could impact global food supply — RT World News

FBI warns cyberattacks could impact global food supply — RT World News


The bureau said an increase in ransomware attacks targeting agricultural cooperatives could disrupt “the entire food chain”.

The top US law enforcement agency has warned of increasing cyberattacks on agricultural cooperatives, saying hackers could target large farms and potentially impact the global food supply.

The FBI’s Cyber ​​Division issued a private sector advisory earlier this week, highlighting an increasing number of ransomware attacks against agricultural cooperatives throughout the 2021 fall harvest and early months of 2022.

“Ransomware actors may be more likely to attack agricultural cooperatives during critical planting and harvesting seasons, disrupting operations, causing financial loss and negatively impacting the food supply chain,” he said, adding that such violations could affect the planting season “by disrupting the supply of seeds and fertilizers.”

The office then cited several recent cases, including a month-long period late last year when six large grain cooperatives were hit by various ransomware attacks, as well as a “multi-state grain company” which experienced a similar hack in March. He noted the widespread effects such attacks could have on the global food supply given the importance of grain to people and livestock.

“A significant disruption in grain production could impact the entire food chain, as grain is not only consumed by humans, but also used for animal feed,” It said. “In addition, a significant disruption in grain and corn production could impact commodity trade and stocks.”

Ransomware is a form of malicious software used to encrypt and block access to a victim’s data until a “ransom” is paid to attackers, who often threaten to release or destroy files if no payment is not performed.

The FBI warning comes amid concerns about food shortages in some areas due to ongoing conflict in Ukraine, a major agricultural exporter. Russia, which sent troops to the neighboring state earlier this year, is also a major exporter of wheat and other staple crops, with the two nations commonly described as regional “breadbaskets”. Moreover, a wave of Western economic sanctions against Moscow is likely to aggravate the problem, as a growing number of banking and financial restrictions create new barriers to world trade.

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Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the republics from the Donbass of Donetsk and Lugansk. The protocols negotiated by Germany and France were designed to give breakaway regions a special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. kyiv insists the Russian offensive was unprovoked and has denied claims it planned to retake the two republics by force.

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