JBS says that all facilities are back online after weekend cyberattack

All of meatpacker JBS SA's global facilities are fully operational after a weekend cyberattack disrupted much of its North American and Australian operations.
calendar icon 4 June 2021
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Reuters reports that the Brazilian meatpacker's arm in the United States and Pilgrim's Pride, a US chicken company mostly owned by JBS, lost less than one day's worth of food production following the hack, according to a statement. It said the losses will be recovered by the end of next week.

JBS has recovered faster than some meat buyers and market analysts expected from the 30 May ransomware attack, which the White House linked to a Russia-based group.

The attack followed one last month by a group with ties to Russia on Colonial Pipeline, which crippled fuel delivery for several days in the US Southeast.

JBS voluntarily shut down all its systems to isolate the intrusion upon learning of the attack, which failed to infect encrypted backup servers, according to the statement.

"The criminals were never able to access our core systems, which greatly reduced potential impact," said Andre Nogueira, chief executive of JBS USA.

US beef prices initially jumped as the attack tightened supplies. However, American consumers should not see a lasting impact on prices "if the situation continues to resolve quickly," a US Department of Agriculture official said.

"The market is moving toward normalization," the official said.

JBS on Tuesday 1 June halted cattle slaughtering at its US plants, which process nearly a quarter of America's beef, according to union officials.

By Thursday 3 June, the number of cattle slaughtered by US processors including JBS was up 27% from Tuesday and 14% from Wednesday, according to USDA estimates.

Last year, the US meat supply chain buckled as COVID-19 outbreaks closed slaughterhouses, reducing production and raising prices.

"We need to invest in a food system that is durable, distributed and better equipped to withstand 21st century challenges, including cybersecurity threats and other disruptions," the USDA official said.

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Source: Reuters

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