The world’s largest meat supplier, Brazilian JBS, Was forced to cease operations at its plants in the U.S. and other countries after a ransom attack by hackers suspected of residing in Russia. The White House and the Kremlin are in touch about an affair that could lead to significant price increases for consumers.
White House deputy spokeswoman Karin Jean-Pierre reported last night that JBS had updated the administration on Sunday that they had been hit by a hackers’ ransomware attack and that the demand came from a criminal organization suspected of operating from Russia. The Federal Bureau of Investigation opened an investigation and the administration offered assistance to the Brazilian company in dealing with the attack. “The White House is in direct contact with the Russian government on this matter and is sending a message to the countries responsible not to give refuge to infidel criminals,” Jean-Pierre said. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov confirmed this morning that the State Department and the Russian Embassy in Washington had discussed an attack on the meat supplier.
JBS confirmed that it had been the target of “an organized cyber attack that affected some of the servers that support the computer system in North America and Australia,” but no intrusion into customer, employee or vendor information was identified. As a result, operations at the company’s cattle processing plants in the United States, Canada and Australia were stopped, as well as at many of the pork and poultry plants in the United States.
However, tonight it was reported that there has been “significant progress” in solving the problem and that most factories are also expected to return to activity during the day. “Our systems have reconnected to the network and we are not sparing efforts to combat this threat,” said Andre Noguera, CEO of JBS’s US arm.
The concern is that if the attack continues over time, there may be delays in the supply of meat and rising prices for consumers. The Australian website Beef Central, which covers news in the field of meat, estimated that the first victims of delays in supply are expected to be supermarket chains and fast food chains such as McDonald’s.
The attack on JBS comes about a month after hackers from the DarkSide group operating from Russia carried out a ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline, which operates the pipeline that runs from Texas to New Jersey and provides 45 percent of fuel consumption to the East Coast. Pipeline operations were halted for about five days, causing fuel prices to rise and congestion at U.S. gas stations.