Sunday 22 May 2022
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Production of agricultural machinery stalls due to criminal computer hack

Due to a computer hack by criminals at the parent company of several large tractor factories, part of the production has come to a standstill. The attempted extortion and computer hacking at AGCO in the United States affects major brands such as Fend, Masseu Ferguson, Challenger, Gleaner and Valta.

The company reported last weekend that it had been the victim of a ransomware attack, and expected that business activities would be halted. The production lines are also standing still at a location in Germany, but the company has not provided any further information about the size so far.

According to the Allgäuer Zeitung, thousands of Fendt employees at the Marktoberdorf site were temporarily sent home. The newspaper reports that none of the company's computers in Marktoberdorf have an internet connection. Therefore tractors could not be produced, parts could not be ordered or loaded, or even pay slips could be issued.

AGCO has worldwide sales of more than $ 9 billion, employs 21,000 people and owns several brands. There has been a wave of cyber-attacks targeting semi-public businesses and food agencies in the United States for some time now. 

Last month, the FBI warned the agricultural sector about ransomware attacks. The FBI issued a similar warning last September after ransomware attacks on two major food suppliers, NEW Cooperative and Crystal Valley.

All enterprises directly related to food production and delivery are considered critical infrastructure objects and are attacked by hackers for great financial gain.

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