World’s largest meat processor should be up and running Wednesday – Riverside, California

Riverside, California 2021-06-02 04:37:45 –

JBS is the second largest producer of beef, pork and chicken in the United States.

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory — The world’s largest meat processing company has returned online after a cyberattack disrupted production around the world just weeks after a similar incident shut down its US oil pipeline.

Brazil’s JBS SA said late Tuesday that it has made “significant progress” in responding to cyberattacks and expects “most” of its factories to go live on Wednesday.

Andre Nogueira, CEO of JBS USA, said in a statement:

The White House said earlier that JBS had notified the United States of a ransom demand from a criminal organization believed to be based in Russia. The White House’s deputy spokesman, Karine Jean-Pierre, said the White House and the Department of Agriculture have been in contact with the company several times this week.

JBS is the second largest producer of beef, pork and chicken in the United States. If closed for even one day, the United States would lose nearly a quarter of its beef processing capacity, or equivalent to 20,000 beef cattle. To Tray Malone, an assistant professor of agriculture at Michigan State University.

Relation: The world’s largest meat company is hit by a cyber attack, FBI investigates

The closure reflects the reality that modern meat processing plants are highly automated for food and worker safety reasons. Computers collect data at multiple stages of the production process, and all functions such as ordering, billing, and shipping are digitized.

Although not publicly saying the attack was ransomware, JBS said the cyberattack affected servers that support operations in North America and Australia. The backup server is unaffected and is unaware that customer, supplier, or employee data has been compromised.

Australia’s JBS plant resumed limited operations in New South Wales and Victoria as of Wednesday, said Agriculture Minister David Littleproud. The company wanted to resume operations in Queensland on Thursday, he said.

JBS is Australia’s largest meat and food processing company, with 47 facilities including slaughterhouses, feedlots and meat processing plants.

Little Proud said his department and Australian law enforcement officials will meet with US responders on Wednesday.

Even before the attack, U.S. meat prices were rising due to coronavirus outages, bad weather, and high factory absenteeism. The US Department of Agriculture predicts that beef prices will rise by 1% to 2%, chicken by 1.5% and pork by 2% to 3% this year.

JBS, a majority shareholder of Pilgrims Pride, did not reveal of its 84 facilities in the United States that were closed on Monday and Tuesday due to the attack. JBS USA and Pilgrim’s said they were able to ship meat from almost every facility on Tuesday. The company also said it is making progress towards resuming plant operations in the United States and Australia. Some of the company’s pork, poultry and cooked food factories went into operation on Tuesday, and the Canadian beef factory resumed production, the company said.

Earlier Tuesday, union officials confirmed that two shifts at the company’s largest US beef mill in Greeley, Colorado had been cancelled. According to a JBS Facebook post, some Canadian mill shifts. Was also canceled on Monday and Tuesday.

The White House “negotiates directly with the Kremlin on this issue and conveys the message that responsible nations do not have ransomware criminals,” said Jean-Pierre. The FBI is investigating this case, and the Cyber ​​Security and Infrastructure Security Agency is providing technical support to JBS.

In addition, the USDA is speaking to warn some of the major meat processors in the United States about the situation, and the White House is assessing its potential impact on US meat supply.

JBS has more than 150,000 employees worldwide.

This is not the first time a ransomware attack has targeted a food company. Last November, the Milan-based Campari Group said it was a victim of a ransomware attack, causing a temporary outage and compromised some business and personal data.

In March, Molson Coors announced a cyberattack affecting its production and shipping. Molson Coors states that after 24 hours some breweries were able to go live. The others took a few days.

Brett Callow, a ransomware expert who is a threat analyst at security firm Emsisoft, says companies like JBS are ideal targets.

“They play an important role in the food supply chain, and attackers are likely to believe that this increases their chances of getting quick payments,” Kalow said.

Marc Jordan, who follows the meat industry as executive director of Leap Market Analytics, said the turmoil would be minimal if JBS recovered in the next few days. Meat processors are accustomed to delays due to a variety of factors, including occupational accidents and power outages. They make up for the production lost in the extra shift, he said.

“It’s a big headache for some factories owned by major meat vendors to shut down for a few days, but if you don’t exceed that, you can manage it,” he said.

US meat demand will generally ease for the weeks between Memorial Day and July 4th, the Independence Day.

However, such attacks can cause havoc. Last month, a group of hackers shut down Colonial Pipeline, the largest fuel pipeline in the United States, for nearly a week. The closure created a long line and hoarding at gas stations in the southeast. Colonial Pipeline confirmed that it had paid hackers $ 4.4 million.

Jason Crabtree, co-founder of Virginia-based artificial intelligence and machine learning company QOMPLX, said Marriott and FedEx are also targets for ransomware attacks. He said companies need to do a better job to quickly detect villains in their systems.

“Many organizations can’t find and fix various vulnerabilities faster than their fighting enemies,” says Crabtree.

Crabtree said the government is also playing an important role, and President Joe Biden’s recent executive order on cybersecurity (requiring all federal agencies to use basic security measures such as multi-factor authentication). Said a good start.

Durbin reported from Detroit. Contributed by AP writer Alan Suderman of Richmond, Virginia and Alexandra Jaffe of Washington.

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