“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 alert stated.
The warning followed several recent reports about US food-processing plants having caught fire under suspicious circumstances.
The General Mills plant in Georgia came close to destruction on April 21 when a plane crashed nearby, killing both passengers and nearly setting fire to the factory.
The strange incidents began in August 2019, when a fire at a Tyson Foods beef factory in Kansas caught fire and forced 3,800 workers to flee, Reuters reported. The massive plant supplies 6% of the nation’s beef, TimCast reported.
Then, in August 2021, the small-scale Patak Meat Products factory in Cobb County, Georgia caught fire, forcing the plant to shut down and the company to rebuild, according to a press release.
The massive JBS USA meat-processing plant caught fire in Nebraska in September 2021, jeopardizing about 5% of America’s beef supply.
Shearer’s Food Processing Plant in Hermiston, Oregon burned to the ground in February.
— Chaudhary Parvez (@ChaudharyParvez) February 23, 2022
Taylor Farms Food Processing Plant in Salinas, California, caught fire on April 13. The plant stopped operations, according to a press release.
The headquarters of Azure Standard Food Processing Plant went up in flames on April 19.
News reports show several more fires and explosions across the country.
And more… pic.twitter.com/sBBzplM0Ux
— Speech Alchemy CLICK the LINKS (@DylanRMarshall) April 20, 2022
“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,” the FBI said.