AGCO ransomware attack disrupts tractor sales during US planting season

US farm equipment maker AGCO said Friday that a ransomware attack was affecting operations at some of its production facilities, and dealers said tractor sales had stalled during the crucial planting season.

Georgia-based AGCO said in a statement that it expects operations at some facilities to be affected “for several days and potentially longer.”

ransomware The attack comes at a time when US farm equipment manufacturers were already facing frequent supply chain disruptions and labor strikes, leaving them unable to meet demand for equipment from farmers.

AGCO did not disclose the names of the facilities or if any data was stolen, but said it was still investigating Thursday’s attack and working to improve its systems.

Tim Brannan, president and owner of B&G Equipment in Tennessee, told Reuters he had not been able to access AGCO’s website to order and view parts since Thursday morning.

“We just have to trust that this will be over soon because we are approaching our busiest time of year and it will be very damaging to our business and customers,” Brannon said.

AGCO, which competes with larger rival Deere & Co., sells tractors in 42 locations worldwide with 1,810 dealerships in North America and assembles, manufactures and assembles products.

Dealers are now struggling to fulfill the orders which were already backlogged.

The company told dealers it was “prioritizing” the most commercially important systems in an e-mail read to Reuters by a dealer, who declined to be identified.

“I’ve got about nine orders that I need to place now,” the dealer said.

He said the AGCO told him that “digital systems” have been affected around the world.

AGCO did not respond to requests for additional comment.

Shares of AGCO closed 6 percent lower at $ 125.55 (about Rs 9,600) in afternoon trade.

Ransomware attacks in recent years have targeted food and fuel companies in the United States, including Colonial Pipeline’s oil network and meat processing company JBS. Last autumn, there were ransomware attacks on at least three grain operators in the Midwest.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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