Cyberattack hits world’s largest meat processor

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Brazil-based JBS Foods reveals cyberattack disrupted production on two continents

JBS Foods, the world’s largest meat supplier, has become the latest casualty of a cybersecurity attack, the company revealed on Monday.

The cyber attackers struck JBS operations in Australia and North America, the company said. They also warned thatr the subsequent disruption will have ripple effects throughout the global food supply chain.

The attack is part of a general hacking campaign against the commodities markets

The company shut its North American and Australian computer networks after an organized assault on Sunday on some of its servers, the company said by email. Without commenting on operations at its plants, JBS said the incident may delay certain transactions with customers and suppliers.

The attack sidelined two shifts and halted processing at one of Canada’s largest meatpacking plants, while the company canceled all beef and lamb kills across Australia, industry website Beef Central said. The company also canceled some kill and fabrication shifts in the U.S., according to a union Facebook post.

“The company took immediate action, suspending all affected systems, notifying authorities and activating the company’s global network of IT professionals and third-party experts to resolve the situation,” JBS USA said in a statement. “The company’s backup servers were not affected, and it is actively working with an Incident Response firm to restore its systems as soon as possible.”

Hackers now have the commodities industry in their crosshairs, according to Bloomberg. They also note that the JBS attack happened just three weeks after hackers targeted Colonial Pipeline. They are the operator of the biggest gasoline pipeline in the US.

The attack also comes as the global meat industry is struggling with lingering absenteeism as a result of COVID-19. Lat year the pandemic caused a wave of plant shutdowns and disrupted supplies on a global level.

The company’s statement included reassurances about data protection.

“The company is not aware of any evidence at this time that any customer, supplier or employee data has been compromised or misused as a result of the situation,” they said.

“Resolution of the incident will take time, which may delay certain transactions with customers and suppliers.”