A cyberattack has crippled JBS, the world’s largest meat producer, with plants in the US, Canada and Australia shutting down.
JBS experienced a cyberattack on May 30, targeting its IT systems. The attack shut down the company’s Canadian operations, as well as those in Australia and the US. The company has not yet indicated exactly what kind of attack it suffered, although ransomware is a likely candidate.
As Bloomberg points out, the company’s Brooks, Alberta beef plant accounts for more than a quarter of Canada’s entire supply of beef, illustrating how critical JBS is to the world’s meat supply. There are likely to be trickle-down effects, as JBS is warning transactions with its suppliers and customers may also be impacted.
JBS told Bloomberg its backup servers were not affected, and the company is already working to restore operations using them. The company is also not aware of any of its supplier, customer or employee data being compromised.
Coming just weeks after the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack drove up fuel prices on the East Coast, the JBS attack illustrates the increasing threat cyberattacks pose on critical infrastructure and commodities.
“If the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack didn’t impact enough consumers to spur response by the international community, the JBS meat supplier incident likely will,” Meg King, Director of the Science and Technology Innovation Program at The Wilson Center, told WebProNews. “ Now is the time for a global agreement to break the business model of ransomware. This will keep happening – at great cost to life and treasure – if we don’t identify and stop the biggest actors, gain better early warning, and help companies improve their cybersecurity.”