World’s Largest Meat Supplier Targeted in Cyberattack

In a statement released Monday, the world’s largest meat supplier, JBS USA, says it was the “target of an organized cybersecurity attack” and resolving the incident will take time, which “may delay certain transactions with customers and suppliers.”

The hack of the Colonial Pipeline last month temporarily disrupted the transportation of fuel in the United States and caused gas shortages in the Southeast.

The attack on JBS USA affected servers supporting its IT systems in North America and Australia, said the company.

The company’s beef and pork plants located in Ottumwa, Iowa; Worthington, Minnesota; Cactus, Texas; and Greeley, Colorado, announced via Facebook that they were canceling several shifts on Tuesday, said NBC New Y0rk.

Bloomberg is reporting that the JBS incident affected a beef plant in Brooks in Alberta, Canada, about 118 miles east of Calgary.

It is unclear who carried out the cyberattack and whether it was a ransomware attack designed to extort money, said ABC. 

Forbes reports that the Colonia Pipeline hack may have extorted as much as $90 million.

According to Bloomberg, “Hackers now have the commodities industry in their crosshairs with the JBS attack coming just three weeks after the operator of the biggest U.S. gasoline pipeline was targeted.”

“It’s also happened as the global meat industry battles lingering Covid-19 absenteeism after recovering from mass outbreaks last year that saw plants shut and supplies disrupted,” says Bloomberg.

JBS said it is working with an incident response firm to restore its systems as soon as possible.

JBS USA is part of JBS Foods, which has operations in 15 countries and has customers in about 100 countries, according to its website. Its brands include Pilgrim’s, Great Southern and Aberdeen Black.

Backup servers were not affected, and the company is actively working to restore systems as soon as possible, according to the company statement.

The processor said it’s not aware of any customer, supplier or employee data being compromised or misused.

Last week, Microsoft announced that it had observed cyberattacks by Nobelium, the same actor behind the SolarWinds 2020 hack, on U.S. government agencies, think tanks, consultants and non-governmental organizations.

Those attacks have been described as “particularly bold” in choice of targets and in the timing, coming weeks before the scheduled meeting between President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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