WASHINGTON – Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) today sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) pressing the agency to address the rise in ransomware attacks, particularly damaging to the agricultural industry. This comes after two recent cyberattacks on Iowa grain cooperatives.
“Like many of the Iowans we represent, we are concerned about the growing ransomware attacks in the nation’s agricultural sector. The agricultural sector is designated as one of the country’s sixteen critical infrastructure industries, but historically has not received robust cybersecurity support from the government,” the senators wrote.
“The extent of the damage from the NEW Cooperative and Farmers Cooperative Elevator Co. attacks is not isolated to the grain market. Feed from the cooperatives’ grain supply sustains millions of livestock. These attacks will affect the supply chain that puts food on the shelves in grocery stores across the country. As Iowa farmers adopt new technologies to get their crops to market, their exposure grows to similar attacks. That exposure not only risks the livelihood of Iowa farmers, it risks food security for Americans,” the senators continued.
Grassley and Ernst also requested a response from Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas relating to the agency’s preparation for future cybersecurity attacks and how the agricultural sector will be integrated into their plans.

Full text of the letter can be found HERE.