Over the weekend, JBS’s operations in North America and Australia were hit by an “organized cybersecurity attack” which the company called it. The meat packer’s business in Australia was temporarily closed while production at locations in the United States was impacted.
In a statement yesterday just after 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time, JBS said its units at JBS USA and Pilgrim are expecting “global operations at near full capacity” today.
“JBS USA and Pilgrim’s continue to make significant strides in restoring our IT systems and getting back to business as normal,” said Andre Nogueira, CEO of JBS USA. “Today the vast majority of our facilities are back up and running as we forecast yesterday, including all of our pork, poultry and ready meals around the world and the majority of our beef facilities in the US and Australia.
“Given the progress our teams have made in coping with this situation, we assume that tomorrow we will be working almost at full capacity in our global operations.”
JBS affirmed that “at this point in time there was no known evidence that customer, supplier or employee data was compromised”.
On Tuesday, a White House spokesman said JBS had told the US government that the ransom demand “came from a criminal organization likely based in Russia.”
In a separate statement yesterday, the FBI announced that it “attributed” the cyber attack to JBS REvil, a Russian cybercriminal group also known as Sodinokibi.
The FBI said it was “working hard to bring the threat actors to justice,” adding, “We continue to focus our efforts on imposing risks and consequences and holding the responsible cyber actors accountable. Our private-sector partnerships are essential in order to react quickly in the event of a cyber intrusion and to offer support to the victims of our cyber adversaries. ”
The affected JBS plants in the US include a processing facility in Greeley, Colorado. Just Food assumes that all three shifts in the factory will run today.
JBS describes itself as the “largest protein producer in the world”. The company processes beef, pork, lamb and chicken and is present in the growing market for meat alternatives.
In addition to North America and Australia, JBS has offices in several countries in Latin America and Europe.
In 2020, JBS had net sales of BRL 270.2 billion (US $ 52.44 billion), 32.1% more than the previous year. Higher tax charges contributed to a 24.2% decrease in net income to BRL4.6 billion.
David Bicknell, senior thematic research analyst for UK data and analytics group GlobalData, said an “outbreak of ransomware attacks affecting all industries is evidence that hackers are still steps ahead of the cybersecurity industry”.
Bicknell added, “Ransomware attacks are on the rise precisely because the companies attacked understandably pay to keep their operations going.
“Food manufacturers should ensure that they have a backup and recovery plan in place for all critical information, and that they are performing and testing regular backups to limit the impact of data or system loss and speed up the recovery process. Keep operating systems and software up to date with the latest patches and ensure that vulnerable applications and operating systems – the targets of most attacks – are patched with the latest updates.
“This significantly reduces the number of exploitable entry points available to an attacker. That doesn’t mean attacks don’t happen, but it does give you a chance to prevent them. ”