On Monday, New Cooperative, an Iowa-based agricultural group, confirmed that it recently became the victim of a multimillion-dollar ransomware attack by a Russian-linked cyber-gang called BlackMatter.
This marks the fourth cyber-attack on a U.S. critical infrastructure sector. Researchers believe that BlackMatter is tied to REvil group, which was believed to be responsible for the May ransomware attack on JBS, one of the world’s largest meat processing companies.
While New Cooperative has not disclosed the extent of the infiltration, security researchers report that BlackMatter claims to have 1TB of the company’s data, which ranges from its employee’s human resources information to the source code for its “SoilMap” software, a technology platform for agricultural producers.
BlackMatter stated on their dark web sites that New Cooperative does not fall under the critical sectors that President Biden listed as off-limits to ransomware and are demanding
a $5.9 million ransom to be paid by September 25. In response to the attack, New Cooperative has gone offline to contain the threat and is in communication with law enforcement and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). However, as one of the largest farm cooperatives in the U.S., there may be regional disruptions in supply and delivery.