A large-scale hack attack on the American group Agco closed the Fendt plant in southern Germany. No tractors can be produced since May 5th. Almost all of the 4,000 employees were sent home.
Agco, the parent company of Fendt, Massey Ferguson and Valtra, is located in Duluth, USA, but it was the Fendt factory in Marktoberdorf in Bavaria that was brought down by a large-scale hacking attack. According to the latest reports, production of the machine is still halted after six days.
Multiple factories affected
All parts of the tractor production were affected, but also the parts division, for example. Malware (ransomware) is installed on the computer systems of Fendt and Agco. The company did not say how long it would take the IT systems to operate again. Systems are ‘captured’ by hackers and are only released after payment.
US spokesperson Ajko He says more production facilities have been affected. He did not say exactly what it is. French media presented late last week notice of the problems at Massey Ferguson in Beauvais. There, too, employees were sent home. There is also no mention of total damage. Partly because the investigation is still ongoing.
The agricultural sector has been damaged by computer hackers
Cyber attacks are not new, but they are not a common phenomenon in the agricultural sector. The FBI has already warned in the United States at the end of last month against hack attacks Specifically aimed at agriculture in the country. In 2021, two large agricultural cooperatives were hit by ransomware attacks. By doing this at critical times during sowing and harvesting, hackers hope that companies will meet their demands sooner.
No more attacks since the war
Also in Germany Warn National Government of Cyber Attacks. Research has shown that since the war in Ukraine no more attacks have been carried out in the country by, for example, Russian hackers.
Nils van der Boom
Nils van der Bom is senior editor in arable agriculture at the Boerenbusiness. Provides essential reports on the potato and grain market. Every week it offers quick market pills.
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