JBS Foods cyberattack shuts down plants, Russia believed to be responsible
By: Alyssa Wilson
The world’s largest meat processing company, JBS Foods, was the victim of a cyberattack that has impacted its Australian and North American units. According to Reuters, the attack shut down operations in Australia Monday.
On Tuesday, nine beef plants were shut down in the United States, USA Today reported, and all of the company’s facilities in the country experienced disruption to operations.
JBS CEO Andre Nogueira said, “Our systems are coming back online and we are not sparing any resources to fight this threat. We have cybersecurity plans in place to address these types of issues and we are successfully executing those plans.”
According to White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, JBS S.A. of Brazil has been in communication with the White House. They notified U.S. officials about a ransom demand from a criminal organization that may be based in Russia. Jean-Pierre said the White House and the Department of Agriculture are working with JBS and that U.S. officials are dealing with the Russian government on the matter.
In May, a cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline caused panic in the United States as Americans feared gas shortages. The attack was caused by ransomware called DarkSide, which is believed to be operated by a Russian cybercrime gang.
Ransomeware gangs like DarkSide make money by hacking a network, encrypting files and threatening to publish them if a fee is not paid, NBC News reported. The group released a statement saying they are an apolitical group interested in making money.
Despite the attack, JBS says it was “able to ship product from nearly all of its facilities to supply customers.”