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Ag auction network is victim of weekend ransomware attack

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Over the weekend, another agriculture company was the victim of a ransomware attack. Recently, the food supply chain has been a major target of these types of attacks.

Sandhills Global, which operates many agriculture trade and auction websites, announced its online operations were disrupted by the attack. The Nebraska-based company operates several affected websites: According to the Journal Star, Sandhills Global websites that are no longer accessible include Truck Paper, TractorHouse, AuctionTime, Machinery Trader, ForestryTrader, HiBid, RentalYard, Motorsports Universe, CraneTrader, MarketBook, RV Universe, Oil Field Trader, Aircraft, LiveStockMarket, Controller, and Aircraft.com.

In an email to its customers, Sandhills Global announced the attack and reported they are working with their cybersecurity experts to fix the problem. They have yet to announce if any personal information has been compromised or how the ransomers have tried to get money from the company.

The email stated, “Sandhills Global is currently responding to a ransomware attack that impacted our operations. Systems and operations have been temporarily shut down to protect data and information, and we have retained cybersecurity experts to assist us with the investigation, which is ongoing. We are working actively and diligently with the assistance of our retained experts to fully restore operations.

“At this time, we are continuing to investigate whether any of our client’s information has been accessed or impacted by this incident. At this time, we have not discovered evidence that confirms that customer information has been compromised. Please know that our clients are our number one priority and we are working diligently to restore operations and remediate the attack. At this time, our ability to respond to your messages may be delayed. We appreciate your patience and deeply regret any inconvenience this may cause.

“We will provide updates regarding this matter and the status of our services as soon as possible.”

This comes just a month after the FBI warned the food supply chain to be aware of ransomware attacks and to take preventative measures to avoid an attack. The notice warned, “Larger businesses are targeted based on their perceived ability to pay higher ransom demands, while smaller entities may be seen as soft targets, particularly those in the earlier stages of digitizing their processes, according to a private industry report.”

Just two weeks ago, the Iowa-based farm services provider NEW Cooperative Inc. was also the victim of a ransomware attack.

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