Friday, 27 May 2022 11:55

Techno crime hits ag sector

Written by  Mark Daniel
French media reports suggest that the MF production lines at Beauvais was shut down after a recent ransomware attack. French media reports suggest that the MF production lines at Beauvais was shut down after a recent ransomware attack.

The need for vigilance in the digital age has become a reality for the agribusiness sector.

This follows recent news that global tractor and machinery manufacturer AGCO released a short statement in early May noting that a ransomware demand had adversely affected its business operations.

The manufacturer of brands such as Massey Ferguson, Fendt and Valtra said some of the company’s production facilities had been affected and it was likely to take several days or longer to restore all operations back to normality. That process would include reinstalling software and restoring IT software at the affected sites.

Reports in the French media suggest that the MF production lines at Beauvais were shut down during the episode, with worker sent home after servers at the plant were rendered inaccessible. Likewise, German media was reporting a similar situation at AGCO’s Bavarian sites as the IT outage continued.

Although there have been no further announcements since the May notification, dealers have been contacted to advise of the actions being taken to rectify the problem. Inhouse emails are suggesting that the entire parts system was knocked out and attempts to restart it were only partly successful, with invoicing at crediting functions still down.

It appeared that parts could still be ordered and dealer inventories were able to be viewed, but order processing and deliveries were restricted.

On a broader scale, it appears that ransomware attacks are becoming more common, with US cyber-security specialists Sophos noting that there had been a 37% increase in such events between 2020 and 2021. It also notes that 45% of businesses “paid up” in the hope of ending the disruption. It is not known if AGCO paid any such ransom demand.

In an age where farmers and producers are being encouraged to place more faith in digital technologies for increased efficiency, while at the same time turning over more information to manufacturers, questions have been raised about what happens when digital crimes shut such systems down.

Who will be responsible for such systems if they are hacked, the manufacturer who installed them or the farmer/producer end user?

The attack on AGCO might serve as a timely reminder for farmers, growers and manufacturers and their distributors.

More like this

PM opens new Power Farming facility

Morrinsville based Power Farming Group has launched a flagship New Zealand facility in partnership with global construction manufacturer JCB Construction.

Made in NZ: TRS Tyre & Wheel Ltd

Made in New Zealand looks at the wealth of design and manufacturing ability we have in New Zealand, creating productive and cost-effective products for the agricultural sector. This week machinery editor Mark Daniel takes a closer look at TRS Tyre and Wheel Limited with managing director Nigel Sherborne…

Success for Argo tractors

The judges at last year’s Agritechnica event picked the Italian-built Landini Rex 4-120GT Robo- Shift Dynamic as the Best of Specialised category at its Tractor of the Year 2024 Awards.

New name, new ideas

KGM New Zealand, is part of the London headquartered Inchcape Group, who increased its NZ presence in August 2023 with the acquisition of SsangYong distribution and five retail outlets.

Featured

Ploughing Champs success

Sean Leslie and Casey Tilson from Middlemarch, with horses Beau and Dough, took out the Rural News Horse Plough award at the Power Farming NZ Ploughing Championships at Horotiu, near Hamilton, on April 13-14.

Farmers oppose work visa changes

Farmers are crying foul over changes announced by the Government this week to the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) scheme.

National

Back to the tractor!

Alliance Group chair Murray Taggart is looking forward to spending more time on farm as he steps down after a…

Machinery & Products

PM opens new Power Farming facility

Morrinsville based Power Farming Group has launched a flagship New Zealand facility in partnership with global construction manufacturer JCB Construction.

AGTEK and ARGO part ways

After 12 years of representing the Landini and McCormick brands in New Zealand, Bay of Plenty-based AGTEK and the brands’…

100 years of Farmall Tractors

Returning after an enforced break, the Wheat and Wheels Rally will take place on the Lauriston -Barhill Road, North-East of…

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Crazy

OPINION: Your canine crusader was truly impressed by the almost unanimous support given by politicians of all stripes in Parliament…

More!

OPINION: As this old mutt suggested in the last issue, MPI looks a very good candidate for some serious public…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter