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Ransomware Attacks AGCO, a Farm Machinery Giant

AGCO issued a brief statement on its website confirming the ransomware attack and confirming that it is still affecting some of its production facilities. The company is currently investigating the scope of the attack, but business operations are expected to be disrupted for at least several days.

Shivam Dwivedi
AGCO
AGCO

AGCO, a US agricultural machinery manufacturer, is the latest high-profile organisation to be hit by ransomware, which it claims disrupts operations at some of its global manufacturing facilities. The relocation may cause delays in the delivery of machinery such as tractors, which is unfortunate given that the planting season for summer crops is already underway.

AGCO issued a brief statement on its website confirming the ransomware attack and confirming that it is still affecting some of its production facilities. The company is currently investigating the scope of the attack, but business operations are expected to be disrupted for at least several days.

Resuming full operations across all services may take longer depending on how quickly AGCO is able to repair the system, indicating the severity of the attack and potential countermeasures. AGCO stated that it would provide updates as the situation developed.

AGCO may not be a household name, but it is the owner of the Challenger, Massey Ferguson, Fendt, and Valtra agricultural machinery brands, and thus a supplier of tractors and other farming equipment to various markets around the world. Its main competitors are John Deere maker Deere & Company, Komatsu, and Caterpillar Inc.

So far, the company has provided little information about the actual attack, failing to identify the specific ransomware variant involved, which systems were and are affected, whether a ransom has been demanded, or the extent of its spread within the AGCO infrastructure.

According to French media reports, the Massey Ferguson tractor production lines in Beauvais, north of Paris, were shut down at the end of last week, and assembly line workers were sent home after the facility's servers became inaccessible. According to German media reports, workers in AGCO's Fendt production facilities in Bavaria have not reported to work as the IT outage continues.

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that the attack comes at a bad time for agricultural machinery manufacturers, who are already struggling to meet the demand for new equipment due to supply chain disruptions and other issues.

According to the FBI, cybercrime cost victims around the world at least $6.9 billion last year, with the volume of attacks and their associated costs increasing year after year. Conti, LockBit, and REvil/Sodinokibi were the top three ransomware variants used against critical infrastructure companies last year, according to the FBI.

AGCO reported $2.7 billion in net sales for the first quarter of 2022, a nearly 13 percent increase over the first quarter of 2021. Prior to the ransomware attack, AGCO increased its full-year forecast for net sales and net income per share, declared a special dividend of $4.50 per share payable in June, and announced a 20 percent increase in quarterly dividend payouts.

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