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
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