The ransomware attack against the NEW Cooperative, one of the largest farm cooperatives in the United States, could likely bring widespread food storage.
Ransomware Attack on Farming Provider, NEW Cooperative
As per HelpNetSecurity, the Iowa-based agricultural cooperative for farmers has shut down their systems offline to contain the threat of the recent cyberattack, which affected the systems and devices of the company.
The NEW Cooperative went on to claim that it has successfully contained the scale of the ransomware attack.
On top of that, the Agri co-op further revealed that it has already notified the authorities after discovering the attack. What’s more, NEW Cooperative also disclosed that it is already working with security experts “to investigate and remediate the situation.”
It is worth noting that a separate ransomware gang, Ragnar Locker, previously issued a threat to its victims that it will go the route of getting in touch with the FBI or any other similar authorities, including security experts.
Ragnar Locker was behind a massive ransomware attack involving the popular game developer, Capcom.
What’s more, the farming org claimed that the affected software in the attack is behind the feed schedules of a whopping 11 million farm animals, and 40% of the grain production.
That said, the scale of the attack could, later on, include the intervention of United States agencies, such as CISA or Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
NEW Cooperative and BlackMatter
On the other hand, another ransomware group, BlackMatter, claimed the recent attack against the New Cooperative.
The said criminal gang is reportedly the successor of DarkSide, the group behind the disruptive attack on the Colonial Pipeline last May.
According to Arstechnica, a screenshot shared by a threat analyst claims that BlackMatter is asking for $5.9 million to provide the decryptor on the ransomware.about:blank
The screenshot is likely the closed-door negotiation chat between the company and the ransomware gang.
The representative of NEW Cooperative was seen saying that BlackMatter claims that it does not hit on “critical infrastructure” on its website.
However, on the contrary, the farming co-op claimed that it is also considered as critical infrastructure.
The representative of the latest ransomware victim further wrote on the private negotiation: “If we are not able to recover very shortly, there is going to be very very public disruption to the grain, pork, and chicken supply chain.”
Arstechnica further noted in the same report that the website of the BlackMatter did mention that the ransomware gang does not hit on oil, gas, and hospital companies, as well as non-government organizations.
The ransomware gang further assured that if ever BlackMatter attacked organizations and firms belonging to the said categories, the victims could ask for a free decryptor.
It is to note that the critical infrastructure as per the rules of BlackMatter did not include the food supply chain. Instead, it only listed power plants and water facilities.
As such, BlackMatter is still asking for a $5 million ransom from the farming co-op.
Originally published by TechTimes