Cyberattacks targeting ag co-ops, Nebraska hospital thwarted by FBI

Agents are still working to track down who was behind it
Just before the Fourth of July, cyberattackers planted malware into the system at a Nebraska hospital.
Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 5:32 PM CDT
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DAVID CITY, Neb. (WOWT) - In an announcement made at the FBI’s Omaha field office, FBI Director Christoper Wray said Wednesday that the feds had stopped a cyberattack in Nebraska.

The bad actors had targeted six different co-ops within the Omaha FBI jurisdiction, which includes Iowa, a number of times in the last year, he said. Those attacks had the potential to create major damage to Nebraska’s biggest businesses, disrupting the food supply from farm to table.

There were tense moments a month ago at the Butler County Health Care Center in David City, Neb. The IT director received a call from the Omaha FBI with a warning that this place was the target of a cyberattack. Cynthia Neesen took the call and headed to the server room.

With the help of the FBI, they pinpointed the compromised server and took it off-line. The hackers struck out and didn’t get anything.

“It’s real and it’s out there. I hoped I’d never have to deal with it. It does happen and I think it’s going to be more and more prevalent,” Neesen said.

There are new warnings from the FBI when it comes to cyberattacks. The agency wants all businesses, big and small, to know the bad actors want to steal from anyone and everyone.

“Exactly when it was going to spread and when they were going to initiate the ransomware attack is not for sure. It could have been in minutes, hours or weeks,” said Agent Ken Schmutz, Omaha FBI cyber task force supervisor.

News from the FBI when it comes to cyberattacks.

The hospital averted the attack, and no patient information was compromised.

Omaha FBI officials said the tip came from investigators in Ireland who then relayed it to the U.K. and to Nebraska.

Agents are still working on tracking down who was behind it.

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