Russia-Linked Ransomware Attack Hits Iowa-Based NEW Cooperative

Fort Dodge, IA — NEW Cooperative confirmed on Monday, Sept. 20, that it had been the victim of a Russia-based ransomware attack, according to a Bloomberg News report and several other media outlets.

The attack appears to defy President Joe Biden's warning against targeting critical U.S. infrastructure, which includes the agriculture sector.

The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from Bloomberg, and the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency declined to comment.

The attack occurred on or around Friday, and Russia-based BlackMatter is demanding a $5.9 million ransom, according to the Bloomberg report.

NEW Cooperative said it has contacted law enforcement and was working with data security experts to investigate and remediate the situation.

“New Cooperative recently identified a cybersecurity incident that is impacting some of our company’s devices and systems,” according to a statement from the cooperative. “Out of an abundance of caution, we have proactively taken our systems offline to contain the threat, and we can confirm it has been successfully contained.”

NEW Cooperative has over 50 locations across Iowa. The cooperative in July announced a merger with MaxYield Cooperative.

Meanwhile, farmers tell Bloomberg News that grain receiving workers are using paper tickets to take down truck weight and grain moisture content by hand, a much slower process.

To read the full Bloomberg article, click here.