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Sandhills Global, which hosts several ag-focused sites, went dark late last week

Willie Vogt 1, Editorial Director, Farm Progress

October 4, 2021

2 Min Read
ransomware attack in agriculture
CYBER ATTACK: Sandhills Global, owners of popular ag brands including TractorHouse and AuctionTime was hit by a ransomware attack. The sites have been taken offline.Suebsiri/Getty Images Plus

Farmers looking for deals on TractorHouse got a surprise late last week when they were greeted with a busted screen. The company's operations have been hampered by a ransomware attack. The second major attack on an ag site in the last two weeks. NEW Cooperative in Iowa as targeted by BlackMatter two weeks ago.

Related: BlackMatter hits grain cooperative with ransomware attack

TractorHouse is just one brand of Sandhills Global, a Lincoln, Neb.-based firm.

The company issued a statement noting that its systems and operations have been shut down to protect data and information and cybersecurity experts have been brought in to assist with the ongoing investigation. "We continue to investigate whether any of our clients' information has been accessed or impacted by this incident. At this time we have not discovered evidence that confirms that customer information has been compromised," the statement says.

The company publishes a range of trade publications, and the popular online auction site TractorHouse. Other publications include Truck Paper, AuctionTime, Machinery Trader, ForestryTrader, HiBid, RentalYard, Motorsports Universe, Crane Trader, MarketBook RV Universe, Oil Field Trader, Aircraft, LiveStockMarket and Controller.

Related: Stock rot, harvest losses, and cyber risk

According to the website the outage was caused by a "Conti ransomware attack." The site reports that attack started as early as Sept. 30, causing the company to shut down its site to prevent the attack's spread.

The Conti ransomware gang has been responsible for a wide range of attacks according to The site reports that Conti usually steals files before encrypting devices to use as extra leverage during extortion attempts.


About the Author(s)

Willie Vogt 1

Editorial Director, Farm Progress

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