The world’s largest meat processing company has hit by a deadly cyber-attack, forcing the billion-dollar company temporarily shut down slaughterhouses and plants in various parts of its bee empire. It is too early to judge the impact of the attack, but there are reports of minor disruptions to the local supply chain. Also in later times, the hack has clearly highlighted how the infrastructure, from national security to food security, can severely compromise for cyber security threats. A ransom paid on Sunday, according to the JBS White House, a multinational meat processing company headquartered in Brazil.
In a ransom attack, hackers enter a computer network and threaten to leak, disrupt or delete files if the ransom is not paid. According to the Financial Times, the attack forced many of the corporation’s cuts and shutdowns of meatpacking plants, shutting down about 7000 informed workers in Australia, as well as 3,000 workers in Canada and the United States. Operations in Mexico and the UK were inactive and business reported to continue as usual.
Three days after the initial attack on Tuesday, JBS indicated that some of its plants have shut down, but most of their food plants have reopened and its Canadian beef facilities have resumed production. The U.S. White House released information about cyberattack at a news briefing on Tuesday, explaining how they believe the hackers were probably “from a Russia-based criminal organization.”
“The White House is directly involved with the Russian government in this regard and is sending a message that the responsible states do not harbor ransom criminals. The FBI is investigating the incident and the CISA is coordinating with the FBI to provide technical assistance to the agency in rescuing it from a ransom attack, “White House spokeswoman Karin Jean-Pierre said Tuesday. JBS is the world’s largest meat supplier, supplying beef, chicken and pork to dozens of supermarkets and fast food restaurants across dozens of countries.
The impact of breaking through the barriers has not yet been revealed, but some parts of the world will see some supply problems in terms of the breadth of JBS’s impact. “Other large-end users, such as supermarkets and McDonald’s Burger Patty Supply Network, will be immediately affected by the need for continuous supply, if the current stoppage lasts for a significant period of time,” said Trade Group Beef Central.