The Federal Bureau of Investigation says the ag industry is facing several national security threats and the fallout could be catastrophic.
Eugene Kowel is the special agent in charge of the Omaha FBI Field Office. “We’re worried about the threat from cyber criminal actors hijacking our farming operations, our agricultural operations, our food processing facilities, ransomware, really halting operations.”
Speaking with reporters during the FBI’s Ag Threats Symposium Thursday, he said countries like China, Russia, North Korea and Iran can steal data from the cloud gathered by farms and ag businesses. “And they can use that technology in their own farming operation. They can manipulate the market. They can start to impact how we farm. They start to know what our supply issues are, what resources we need. They can start to impact those. So, there’s a whole host of national security issues.”
Kowel says hackers or other adversaries shutting down ag operations during times of conflict is another threat.