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May 30, 2014updated 21 Jan 2022 12:44pm

Monsanto’s customers exposed to misuse of credit card information

American GM crop giant Monsanto has announced its data security was breached at its Precision Planting unit, exposing employees and customers to potential misuse of credit card information.

By Verdict Staff

American GM crop giant Monsanto has announced its data security was breached at its Precision Planting unit, exposing employees and customers to potential misuse of credit card information.

The Saint-Louis-based company stated that fewer than 1,300 farmer customers were affected by the breach, which was discovered in March. Files included customer names, addresses, tax identification numbers and financial account information.

Christy Toedebusch, a spokeswoman for Monsanto unit Climate Corp. – which manages the Precision Planting business – said:

“We believe this unauthorised access was not an attempt to steal customer information and are not aware of any misuse of the information impacted by the incident.”

The company notified affected customers and has offered them complimentary credit monitoring services for a year.

The breach comes at a moment when Monsanto is making a push into selling data services to farmers to augment its revenues from generically modified seeds and pesticides.

The services rely on commitments from farmers to share crop information, and some farm groups have expressed concerns about the security and management of data.

Monsanto, the world’s largest seed company has asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for help with the breach, which – the company stated – has been contained.

“The company is increasing security safeguards in an effort to prevent further breaches. While no system can be completely secure, we believe our new security protocols will provide significant protection for customers’ data,” Toedebusch added.

Related articles:

American retailers launch cyber security sharing center

MasterCard beefs up US cardholder security

LifeLock shuts down wallet app over credit card data security standards

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