Meat Supply Giant JBS Suffers Cyberattack

Jun 04, 2021
Smart Factory Security

One of the largest meat suppliers in the world, JBS was recently affected by a ransomware attack. In a statement released on May 30, 2021, the company said that the attack affected some of its servers that support its North American and Australian IT Systems.


According to a report by Bloomberg, JBS USA had shutdowns at its nine beef plants on Tuesday, May 31. The company’s meatpacking facilities across the US have also experienced some level of disruptions to operations, said an official with the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.


Meanwhile, JBS’s slaughter operations in 47 sites across Australia were also disrupted. David Littleproud, Australia’s agriculture minister, said that the attack had locked up the systems JBS used for quality assurance in meat processing.


On Tuesday, the Brazilian meat supply giant said that while the ransomware attack affected its Australia and North America operations, their systems were slowly being restored from backup.

“Our systems are coming back online, and we are not sparing any resources to fight this threat,” Andre Nogueira, the JBS USA chief executive, said in a statement.


The FBI, the Australian, and Canadian authorities have been helping JBS to locate the attackers, which are believed to be in Russia.


In a statement released on June 2, the FBI attributed the attack to REvil and Sodinokibi. The bureau added that they are “working diligently to bring the threat actors to justice”.


According to Principle Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House also is working directly with the Department of Agriculture. The White House has also reached out to various meat processors in the US, ensuring that they are aware of the situation.


“'We’re assessing any impacts on supply, and the President has directed the administration to determine what we can do to mitigate any impacts as they may become necessary," Jean-Pierre added.


The JBS cyber attack comes just three weeks after Colonial Pipeline, the US’s largest pipeline system, was targeted in a ransomware attack.


Earlier in May, Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE) was also hit by a ransomware attack, which continues to result in major issues. Twenty days later, HSE continues to face IT system difficulties, causing delays in some of its services.


With ransomware and various cyber-attacks continually targeting critical infrastructure and enterprises, the need for stronger and more robust cybersecurity is important more than ever.


Executives and decision-makers must understand that cybersecurity is not just an IT issue but a major element that affects the entire organization and its operations.

At the forefront of cybersecurity solutions, Trend Micro offers extensive forward-looking research and studies, aiming to help enterprises and decision-makers safeguard their businesses and infrastructures.


To learn more about keeping your enterprise secure, read “Best Practices for Securing Smart Factories: Three Steps to Keep Operations Running”, which explores security issues faced by smart factories and defense strategies that can be used.


Author: Ericka Pingol

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