JBS, a major meat producer in the United States, has suffered a cyberattack on May 31. The attack has affected servers supporting the company’s IT systems in North America and Australia.
According to Bloomberg, the company is not aware of any evidence that any customer, supplier, or employee data has been compromised or misused as a result of the situation.
The resolution of the cyberattack will take time, and it may delay certain transactions with the company’s customers and suppliers.
JBS is a part of JBS Foods, which it says is one of the world’s largest food companies. The company operates in 15 different countries and supplies customers in more than 100 countries, according to JBS official website. Its brand includes Pilgrim’s, Great Southern, and Aberdeen Black.
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JBS stated that it is currently working with an incident response firm to help restore its systems as soon as possible as the company recovers from the attack.
The White House addressed the attack during a press conference on June 1. Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that JBS was a victim of a ransomware attack from a criminal organization likely based in Russia. Jean-Pierre added that the White House is directly dealing with the Russian government on the matter.
Jean-Pierre said that JBS reached out to the White House on May 31 and stated that it was a cyberattack victim. Both the White House and the Agriculture Department have offered assistance. The FBI is also now investigating the incident.
Jean-Pierre said that President Biden has also directed his administration to determine how to mitigate the nation’s meat supply impact, along with the United States Department of Agriculture or USDA.
Rise of Ransomware Attacks
On June 1, Australia’s Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud posted about the JBS cyberattack on his official Twitter account, saying that the company is working closely with law enforcement agencies and in Australia and overseas to get operations back up and running and to bring those responsible to account.
The attack on JBS comes just a few weeks after the Colonial Pipeline became a victim of cyberattack, which forced a shutdown for 60 days, according to NBC.
The Colonial Pipeline is one of the largest fuel pipelines in the United States. The pipeline has now returned to normal operations.
Meg King, the director of the science and technology innovation program at The Wilson Center, stated that if the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack didn’t impact enough consumers to spur response by the international community, the JBS meat supplier incident will. King added that it is now the time for global agreement to break the ransomware attacks surge.
John Hultquist, VP of analysis at the cybersecurity firm Mandiant Threat Intelligence, said that supply chains, logistics, and transportation that keep the society moving are especially vulnerable to ransomware, where attacks on chokepoints can have outsized the effects and encourage immediate payments.
These past few months, major corporations have been targeted by hackers. In May, Microsoft revealed that the hackers responsible for 2020’s SolarWinds attack targeted 3,000 email accounts at various organizations, most of which were in the United States.
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Written by Sophie Webster
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