Meat processing giant JBS USA endures cyberattack

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On Sunday, JBS USA — one of the largest meat processors in the world — was the target of an organized cybersecurity attack. 

JBS confirmed that the attack affected some of the servers supporting their North America and Australian IT systems. In a statement, JBS said, “The company took immediate action, suspending all affected systems, notifying authorities and activating the company’s global network of IT professionals and third-party experts to resolve the situation. 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.”

JBS is a major meat processor in America. According to the JBS website, the company is the number one in beef in the U.S. In addition, it ranks second largest for pork processing and poultry processing in the U.S. JBS USA, which is part of international food company JBS Foods, operates more than 60 meat, poultry, and prepared foods facilities across the country.

Although it is not clear what the intension of the attack was, JBS did say in the statement that it is not aware of any information that has been compromised in relation to its customers, or others. 

“The company is not aware of any evidence at this time that any customer, supplier or employee data has been compromised or misused as a result of the situation. Resolution of the incident will take time, which may delay certain transactions with customers and suppliers,” the statement concluded. 

If this sounds familiar, it was just one month ago that the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack brought much of the southeast portion of the country to its knees. As an aftermath of that attack, gasoline was hard to come by for a few weeks in that area. Many recent cases of cyberattacks that have happened throughout the U.S. were ransomware, in which the attackers hold a system hostage until a ransom amount is paid. The JBS cyberattack, however, was apparently caught and dealt with before it affected the meat supply. The company did not say whether it was a ransomware attack or identify who might be responsible.

This shows that cyber security attacks are very real and can happen to any industry.