Data Breach at Monsanto Unit

Wednesday, June 4, 2014 @ 06:06 AM gHale

Attackers are not just hitting financial institutions and oil companies, they are also targeting some lesser known entities like a farm analytics firm.

A business unit of Monsanto reported a data breach that left some credit-card and employee information exposed.

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Climate Corp., a farm analytics firm acquired by Monsanto last year, said one of its servers just suffered a hack attack. The attack affected 1,300 farmers who are customers of Monsanto’s precision planting business.

“We believe this unauthorized access was not an attempt to steal customer information and are not aware of any misuse of the information impacted by the incident,” said Climate Corp. spokeswoman Christy Toedebusch.

Climate Corp. is offering affected customers a year’s worth of free credit monitoring. The attack didn’t impact any other Monsanto businesses or customers.

Precision planting uses GPS, weather data and other information to help farmers boost crop yields. Climate Corp. just unveiled a deal with CNH Industrial to integrate the technology into CNH’s farm equipment.

Toedebusch said the breach did not affect farming information like crop yields, which the company stores on a separate system.

“We are working to increase our security safeguards on the impacted server and are reviewing the security on other servers in an effort to prevent further incidents,” Toedebusch added. “While no system can be completely secure, we believe our new security protocols will provide significant protection for customer data.”

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