Minnesota-based farming supply cooperative Crystal Valley was hit by a ransomware attack, it is the second attack against the agriculture business in a few days.

Minnesota farming supply cooperative Crystal Valley has suffered a ransomware attack, this is the second farming cooperative that was hit by ransomware operators in a few days. At this time, the family of ransomware thet infected the systems of the company was not disclosed.

The farming cooperative offers its services to farmers in the states of Minnesota and Iowa. Minnesota reported that the cooperative provides services to 2,500 farmers and livestock producers and has 260 employees.  According to the cooperative, the attack took place on Sunday, in response to the infection the company shut down IT systems.

“On Sunday, September 19, Crystal Valley was alerted we had been targeted in a ransomware attack. This attack has infected the computer systems at Crystal Valley and severely interrupted the daily operations of the company,” reads a notice published by Crystal Valley on their website. “Crystal Valley and cyber security experts are working diligently to re-establish safe and secure operating systems, which will be back online when we are confident the issue has been resolved.”

The cooperative suspended all payments using Visa, Mastercard, and Discover credit cards.

“The attack has infected our computer systems and interrupted the daily operations of our company. Due to this computer breach, all systems of the Mankato-based cooperative have been shut down until they can be restored safely and securely,” the company said. “Due to this, we are unable to accept Visa, Mastercard, and Discover cards at our cardtrols until further notice. Local cards do work. As we continue to navigate through this with the help of experts, we appreciate your patience and understanding. We will continue to update with information as it becomes available.”

On Monday, another farmer cooperative was a victim of a ransomware attack, NEW Cooperative was targeted by BlackMatter ransomware gang that is demanding a $5.9 million ransom.

Earlier this month, the FBI released a Private Industry Notification (PIN) to warn of ransomware attacks targeting the Food and Agriculture sector disrupting its operations, causing financial loss and negatively impacting the overall food supply chain.

Small farms, large producers, processors and manufacturers, and markets and restaurants are particularly exposed to ransomware attacks.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, Turla)

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