Newswire

POLICY WATCH

FBI Warns of Ransomware Attacks During Planting Season

Agricultural cooperatives should be on high alert right now, taking all possible precautions to safeguard their operations against cyber-attackers. This notice comes from the cyber division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), released April 20.

The FBI is informing Food and Agriculture (FA) sector partners that ransomware actors may be more likely to attack agricultural cooperatives during critical planting and harvest seasons, disrupting operations, causing financial loss, and negatively impacting the food supply chain.

The FBI noted ransomware attacks during these seasons against six grain cooperatives during the fall 2021 harvest and two attacks in early 2022 that could impact the planting season by disrupting the supply of seeds and fertilizer. Cyber actors may perceive cooperatives as lucrative targets with a willingness to pay due to the time-sensitive role they play in agricultural production. Although ransomware attacks against the entire farm-to-table spectrum of the FA sector occur on a regular basis, the number of cyberattacks against agricultural cooperatives during key seasons is notable

NEPA Changes Signal Return to Outdated, Cumbersome Regulations

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall commented April 20 on the final phase 1 revisions to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

“AFBF is disappointed that the Biden administration has decided to reverse commonsense reforms to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Farmers and ranchers share the goal of caring for the natural resources they’ve been entrusted with and were pleased that the updated 2020 regulations allowed them to protect the environment while meeting the demands of a growing nation.

“Continued challenges from the pandemic, supply chain issues and the drought in the West are impacting farmers, ranchers, and the American public in the form of increased food and fuel prices. The situation will now be made worse by the return to a slow and cumbersome NEPA review process that, in many cases, takes years to complete.

“President Biden has also made improving the nation’s infrastructure a priority, and a modernized NEPA review process would help deliver projects to communities across the country. Safe roads, waterways and railways, and expanded rural broadband access are crucial to the success of rural America. Those, too, are now at risk because of outdated regulations.

“We urge the administration to stop moving backward and keep focused on working with farmers and ranchers to advance sound, science-based and practical conservation goals that protect our resources while creating opportunities for agriculture as well as every sector of the economy.”

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