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Cyberattack Hits World’s Largest Meat Supplier

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Person holding cellphone with logo of Brazilian meet processing company JBS S.A. on display with website | Cyberattack Hits World’s Largest Meat Supplier | Featured

JBS, the world’s largest meat supplier, suffered a massive cyberattack over the weekend. By late Tuesday, the company said that its systems are coming back, including some US and Australian operations that went offline.

RELATED: Colonial Pipeline Shutdown Leads to Panic Buying

World’s Largest Meat Supplier Under Cyberattack

In a statement, JBS said it made progress resolving the cyberattack. As a result, a vast majority of its plants will resume operations by Wednesday.

As of Tuesday, several pork, poultry, and prepared food plants are back in operation. The beef plant in Canada resumed production as well. 

According to JBS USA CEO Andre Nogueira, they are addressing the problem head-on. “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,” he said. 

Ransomware

On Tuesday, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union said that JBS suspended operations at its nine beef processing plants across the United States.

It shut down after getting hit with ransomware. Earlier, company officials sent word to the White House Sunday about the malicious attack. JBS said that the breach is an extortion attempt by a Russian cybercriminal group.

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The JBS cyberattack is the latest in a rash of recent high-profile cases that showed security weaknesses of corporations, agencies, and civil groups.

Last month, foreign hackers successfully staged a ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline, holding the firm’s software operations hostage as they demanded money in exchange.

Colonial reportedly paid the ransom, rather than risk prolonged delays in its fuel shipments across its pipeline. The company transports oil and fuel from Texas to the East Coast.

As a result of Colonial’s shutdown, panic buying and shortages occurred even in places outside of the pipeline’s coverage. 

Extent of the JBS Cyberattack

Experts say that determining the ransomware’s effect on meat supply chains is too early to tell. Either way, the attack comes at a very bad time. The meatpacking industry has yet to recover from the disruptions it suffered before and during the pandemic. 

JBS already briefed US President Joe Biden on the ransomware attack on Monday. The president directed the administration to monitor the issue closely and to assess any impact on supply or prices, said a White House official.

The official spoke on the condition of anonymity. In addition, the company also said it remains unaware of any evidence at this time the attacks compromised any customer, supplier, or employee data. 

Cyberattack Sunday

In an earlier news release, JBS said its systems detected the intrusion on its computer networks in North America and Australia on Sunday.

It also confirmed that its backup servers remained intact and did not sustain any breaches. The company also warned that the ongoing work to resolve the matter “may delay certain transactions with customers or suppliers.”

Consequently, ransomware attacks are becoming lucrative for hackers. These criminal groups search for vulnerabilities inside a company’s networks and exploit them to gain access.

Once in, they take control of the software system and lock it to prevent anybody from accessing important data. As a result, businesses need to pay the ransom in exchange for a key to unlock the system.

Watch the CNBC Television video reporting that meat supplier JBS shuts down six US plants after major cyberattack:

Should JBS pay the undisclosed ransom to regain control of its system?

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Do you think that JBS should pay the undisclosed ransom to solve the problem? Also, do you think it can afford to ride out the current disruption?

Let us know what you think about ransomware and other cyberattacks. Share your comments in the comment section below.

18 Comments

18 Comments

  • Terry Norrington says:

    Our country needs to invest more to prevent racks. Soon our power grid will be interrupted by cyber hackers and our country will be finished.
    Cyber security should be at the top of security enforcement. The US has fallen behind, while we let our enemies flow in freely from our Southern border.
    Biden & Harris bith should be impeached for what they have allowed to happen.

  • Reggie Lively says:

    Right on!

  • Irene says:

    The bad guys out there see the weakness in the leaders, i.e. the head of the country, the President and his crew. Yes, “crew”. There will be more attacks and they will get worse.

  • Roy says:

    Find these hackers and put them in prison where they belong. To pay and nothing being done is just giving into criminal workhorse as if it’s ok.

  • Mac says:

    It’s amazing just how well a pencil, paper, and cash work. Eventually hackers will want some food.

  • Richard S says:

    The Biden administration would set the hackers free if the f.b.I. even looked for them. This is a government game, just like the colonial pipeline they didn’t investigate. Everything is Russia,Russia,Russia.

  • steve phillips says:

    need to attack these terrorists

  • Edward says:

    JBS is making “”” RECORD “”” profits. Let the greedy idiots pay the ransom. They have the money because they are charging the USA citizens a HIGH HIGH HIGH price for beef. And the are IMPORTING inferior beef to sell into the USA too. Our politicians are doing nothing to protect us from JBS and their beef from other countries. Let them pay, the have the money.

  • William Smith says:

    If FBI chooses to pay random then the USA can move forward with improved cyber security. The company will find ways to combat ransom attacks in the future.

  • Todd says:

    Joe Biden is a pussy! The only reason this and the pipeline hack happened are because he’s weak and our adversaries know they won’t face repercussions from their actions.

  • Robert Fletcher says:

    What we the people. Need is Donald.Trump. He is our president……

  • Bob says:

    If we only had Trump when we need him!

  • William R Phillips says:

    They need to pay the ransom and bite the bullet. It’s amazing how everything is on computers and no individual or business can function without one. Why does the government continually blame everything on the Russians? It may be true but there is no proof. Why is Biden going to try and force every company to have cyber securities? Does he have an investment in them like his investment in electric vehicles (and that’s why he pushes so hard to eliminate fossil fuel usage)? Who’s not to say these cyber attacks aren’t coming from a domestic threat. Don’t understand why big companies just put their cyber security all over the air waves when all they have to do is keep everything internal at each establishment.

  • Skeptical says:

    Ransomware occurs by the open-armed welcoming of computer controls into every facet of life, without prudent regard for unintended liabilities and outcomes.
    Sure it is easy for me to say in hindsight, but the facts of the situation remain regardless.
    To avoid serious potentials for future disruptive fiascos, business managers and producers ought to be asking,

    “Is this new advancement I can employ in my business, actually understood for its’ risks?”
    “Is the vitalness of my business such, that I should err in caution until the technology and its safeguards from undesirable outcomes is better understood?”

    But from energy production to meat processing, this apparently did not happen, by underestimating the innovation of the human mind for ulterior reasons. IMHO

  • Larry Laymon says:

    When you give in they may come back for more.

    Grady hospital held out got a smart IT person and pulled backups back and beat the hacks.

  • Marla J Hoefer says:

    Find these people that are doing the cyber attacks and fine them for doing them. There’s got to be a way to stop these cyber attacks, get trump back in office. They know biden isn’t going to do anything about it

  • Marla J Hoefer says:

    Federal government isn’t doing anything to stop these cyber attacks, we are looking like the weak nation, figure that one out

  • LLS says:

    Need Trump back to make America Great Again. We must be the laughing stock of other countries right now. we are looking so week these days. Let alone our country cant afford all the handouts to immigrants not coming in legally, letting other countries hold our big business for ransom, when is the money and corrupt democrats going to do something instead of wasting all the money that they are at taxpayers expense. We are going to be sorry.Open your eyes people

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