NEW Cooperative Inc., an Iowa-based agricultural services company, said Monday that its systems were offline to contain a “cybersecurity” incident just as the U.S. farm belt prepares for harvest time.
The cooperative controls grain storage facilities in Iowa, the main corn-producing state in the United States, buys grain from farmers, sells fertilizer and other chemicals needed to grow grain, and has technology platforms for farmers to provide agronomic advice to maximize their crops.
The timing of the attack is crucial for NEW to get its systems back online as soon as possible as many farmers will begin harvesting this week and begin delivering grain to NEW’s elevators in Iowa, said Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities in West Des Moines, Iowa.
“This is a very clear attack on an organization that is part of our critical infrastructure,” said Allan Liska, a senior analyst at U.S. cybersecurity firm Recorded Future. “This could result in disruptions to food delivery in parts of the country.”
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