According to a report from BleepingComputer, information processing company Sandhills Global, which services ag equipment auction websites including TractorHouse and AuctionTime, fell victim to a ransomware hack this past weekend that took all its hosted websites offline.
The report states that, as of Friday Oct 1., Sandhills Global’s website, along with its hosted websites and their phone lines were offline due to the attack. The decision to take the services offline was made by Sandhills Global to “prevent the attack’s spread.”
BleepingComputer’s report stated it had been told by numerous sources the attack came from “Conti” ransomware, a known ransomware gang behind previous attacks including on the City of Tulsa and Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE). It describes the ransomware’s method of attack as “stealing files before encrypting devices to use as extra leverage during their extortion attempts. They then demand multi-million ransom demands to receive a decryptor and not leak stolen data.”
Sandhills Global reportedly sent the following statement to its customers in reference to the attack:
Sandhills Global is currently responding to a ransomware attack that impacted our operations. Systems and operations have been temporarily shut down to protect data and information, and we have retained cybersecurity experts to assist us with the investigation, which is ongoing. We are working actively and diligently with the assistance of our retained experts to fully restore operations.
At this time, we are continuing to investigate whether any of our client’s 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. Please know that our clients are our number one priority and we are working diligently to restore operations and remediate the attack. At this time, our ability to respond to your messages may be delayed. We appreciate your patience and deeply regret any inconvenience this may cause.
We will provide updates regarding this matter and the status of our services as soon as possible.
Sandhills Global entered into a strategic partnership with CNH Industrial in March 2021 to launch of an exclusive platform for dealers of CNH Industrial’s CASE Construction, Case IH and New Holland brands.
As of 2:30pm CST on Oct 3., Sandhills Global’s website was back online, along with some of its hosted websites. Attempts to reach Sandhills Global by phone for comment were unsuccessful, possibly due to phone lines remaining offline.