Everything is being affected by the cyber boom we are witnessing in our world. Imagine if the food supply chain is affected adversely by hacking and other malicious acts stemming out of the cyber boom; the result can be catastrophic!
BlackMatter, a notorious hacking group, has brought to its knees the NEW Cooperative, a leading agricultural company, to bring its systems offline. They have demanded a ransom of 5.9 Million USD to let them off the hook. NEW Cooperative provides software that powers 40 percent of American grain production and manages 11 million farm animals. It claims to provide critical infrastructure and has refused to pay the amount which has led to a standstill that will be the reason for future problems if the hackers and the suppliers don’t come to an understanding.
The food supply chain was not targeted for the first time. In June, JBS’ businesses in the United States, Canada, and Australia were shut down by Russian hackers REvil, affecting roughly a fourth of the American beef supply chain.
The Wall Street Journal later reported that JBS paid the $11 million extortion to get back online. NEW Cooperative, on the other hand, is still holding out, according to Ars.
BlackMatter’s rule book states that they would not harm organizations that provide critical assistance to different fields around the globe. They have denied the claims of NEW Cooperative falling under the ambit of critical infrastructure. At the same time, NEW Cooperative has accused the hacking group of sabotaging a crucial service in the food supply chain.
Nobody knows how this whole episode will come to an end, but one thing is for sure that neither of the parties is backing down. Now the federal regulators are getting involved, and BlackMatter is still adamant over their demand of 5.9 million USD. So let us all wait and watch how does this hacking saga pan out!