A major cyberattack has reportedly crippled the world’s largest meat processing company, JBS. The company reports an “organized cybersecurity attack” has severely hampered its operations in the U.S. and Australia.
NBC News reports that thousands of meat workers in Australia are out of work for a second day this week after a cyberattack has crippled the largest meat supplier in the world, JBS. The company is also Australia’s largest meat and food processing company with 47 facilities across the country including abattoirs, feedlots, and meat processing sites. JBS employs around 1,100 people.
JBS USA said in a statement from Greeley, Colorado, on Monday that it was the target of an “organized cybersecurity attack,” affecting some of its servers supporting its North American and Australian IT systems.
The statement said: “The company’s backup servers were not affected and it is actively working with an Incident Response firm to restore its systems as soon as possible.” Australian Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said that the government and Australian Federal Police were working with JBS to resolve the issue and track down those responsible.
Littleproud stated: “Despite the fact that JBS accounts for around 20 percent of our processing production here in Australia, we’re not expecting there to be significant impacts on exports so long as this isn’t a protracted shutdown…We’re also working with JBS right here in Australia to make sure that we can get some limited capacity up and going in the next couple of days. JBS have been very proactive in that.”
Littleproud stated that it was too early to determine whether it was a ransomware attack or who might be responsible for the hack. Australian staff at JSB learned of the hack when they were turned away from their workplace on Monday.
JBS exports around 70 per cent of what it produces in Australia but Australia and New Zealand account for only 4 percent of the company’s global revenue. Several consignments of cattle in Queensland state were canceled at short notice and cattle trucks were returned around due to the attack. “We had to send them up on Sunday afternoon and then we got the message in the morning that they’d have to cancel the train because the meat works was going to be shutting for an indefinite amount of time,” Queensland cattle rancher Colin Baker stated. “We had a wasted day . . . because mustering the cattle, sorting them out and then trucking them up there and then we had to bring them home today and let them all go again,” Baker added.