Iowa Grain Giant Faces Crypto Ransomware Attack
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New Cooperative, an alliance of farmers which sells corn and soy products, has faced a ransomware attack from a Russian cybercrime group BlackMatter, the Washington Post has learned. The bad actors have reportedly threatened to release New Cooperative's proprietary business data (a terabyte of the cooperative's data, including the source code to its soil-mapping technology) if it fails to pay $5.9 million in cryptocurrencies by Sept. 25.

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"Huge amounts of money move with the transfer of agricultural commodities — many, many millions of dollars are transferred back and forth. The bad guys are going to see those transfers. There is a tremendous amount of money that exchanges hands in this area," said Bobby Martens, the Iowa Institute of Cooperatives endowed professor of economics at Iowa State University.

US to Sanction Business That Provides Crypto Ransomware Payments: Report

While it remains unclear when exactly New Cooperative has come under attack, the news comes just a day after the US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) listed a Russian over-the-counter cryptocurrency exchange SUEX over "ransomware payments." According to the regulator, the platform is facilitating financial transactions for ransomware actors.

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