JBS cyber attack updates – Russia ‘likely behind’ massive hack on world’s biggest meat supplier, White House says
RUSSIA is “likely” behind a huge cyberattack on the world’s biggest meat supplier, according to the White House.
JBS USA said in a statement from Greeley, Colorado, it was the target of an “organized cybersecurity attack” affecting some of its servers supporting its North American and Australian IT systems.
“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,” the statement said.
White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said the ransom demand originated from “a criminal organization likely based in Russia”.
She added that the US has contacted Russia about the matter and the FBI is investigating.
The hack had an immediate impact, with the five biggest beef plants in the US – which process 22,500 cattle daily – suspending livestock slaughter.
Those outages alone have wiped out nearly a fifth of America’s production.
And operations across Australia – which exports up to 75 per cent of its red meat products – are at a standstill, meaning there is a risk to worldwide supplies.
Staff learned of the attack when they were turned away from their workplaces on Monday.
WHERE IS JBS BASED?
JBS is a Brazilian company with bases in North and South America and Australia.
It has 47 locations across Australia alone.
It also operates the largest network of production facilities and feedlots in the country.
It also has operations in Europe, Mexico, New Zealand and Britain.
PRESIDENT URGES FIRMS TO TAKE RANSOMWARE SERIOUSLY
Joe Biden is building on his executive order to tackle cybersecurity issues following the JBS attack.
He is urging organizations across government and the private sector to take the threat of ransomware seriously.
White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said today that the president has already launched a rapid strategic review to address the increased threat of ransomware, which “builds on President Biden’s executive order”.
She continued: “The executive order outlines five high-priority cybersecurity initiatives that, if implemented, will reduce the risk of cyberattacks including ransomware.
“We call on organizations across government and the private sector to take the threat of ransomware seriously and modernize their cyber defenses, including implementing the practices in the executive order.”
JOE BIDEN ‘PRIORITIZING COMBATING RANSOMWARE’
Joe Biden is making combating ransomware a priority, it was said today.
White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said: “Combating ransomware is a priority for the administration.
“President Biden has already launched a rapid strategic review to address the increased threat of ransomware to include four lines of effort: one, distribution of ransomware infrastructure and actors working closely with the private sector; two, building an international coalition to hold countries who harbor ransom actors accountable; expanding cryptocurrency analysis to find and pursue criminal transaction; and reviewing the USG’s ransomware policies.”
USDA ‘ASSESSING IMPACTS ON SUPPLY’
The United States Department of Agriculture is “assessing any impacts on supply” after the JBS cyberattack, the White House said today.
Spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said : “USDA has reached out to several major meat processors in the United States to ensure they are aware of the situation.
“We’re assessing any impacts on supply, and the President has directed the administration to determine what we can do to mitigate any impacts as they may become necessary.”
FBI INVESTIGATING CYBER ATTACK
The FBI is investigating the cyber attack on meat supplier JBS.
White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said today: “The White House has offered assistance to JBS, and our team and the Department of Agriculture have spoken to their leadership several times in the last day.
“The White House is engaging directly with the Russian government on this matter and delivering the message that responsible states do not harbor ransomware criminals.
“The FBI is investigating the incident and CISA is coordinating with the FBI to offer technical support to the company in recovering from the ransomware attack.”
‘10,000 AUSTRALIAN WORKERS SENT HOME WITHOUT PAY’
JBS’ Australian facilities were said to have been paralyzed by the attack, with up to 10,000 meat workers being sent home without pay, according to a union representative.
“It’s affecting JBS processing facilities around (Australia),” AMIEU Queensland branch secretary Matt Journeaux told AFP.
“They have stood down workers across JBS operations.”
Journeaux said there was no word yet from the company on when operations will resume.
GLOBAL IMPACT OF JBS SHUT-DOWNS
Brazil-based JBS is a sprawling meat supplier with operations in the United States, Australia, Canada, Europe, Mexico, New Zealand and Britain.
“JBS USA determined that it was the target of an organized cybersecurity attack, affecting some of the servers supporting its North American and Australian IT systems,” the company said in a statement Monday.
JBS said its backup servers were not affected by the incident, but the statement did not offer details on the status of its plants.
2,900 WORKERS HAVE SHIFTS CANCELLED AT GREELEY PLANT
Workers have had their shifts cancelled at the JBS plant in Greeley, Colorado.
Marcela Salazar, spokesperson for the local food workers union, said two shifts at the Greeley plant – the largest meatpacking plant in the US – were canceled on Tuesday due to the attack.
It’s estimated the cancellations have impacted more than 2,900 workers at the plant, reports the Greeley Tribune.
CONTINUED: EXPERTS PILE ON PRESSURE
“The US government needs to immediately implement the Treasury KYC regulation for large cryptocurrency transactions to de-anonymize payments to these criminal groups.
“We also need to apply significant pressure on countries harboring these criminals and offering them safe haven (primarily Russia).
“We need to demand immediate arrests and prosecutions.”
EXPERTS PILE ON PRESSURE
Experts have piled pressure onto the US government to take action after the latest large-scale cybersecurity attack.
Dmitri Alperovitch, computer security industry executive, said on Twitter: “First it was the hospitals during a global pandemic.
“Then it was energy supply (pipeline).
“Now it’s our food security (JBS).
“Enough is enough. Ransomware is now one of our top national security threats.
CYBERATTACK COULD SEE RISING MEAT PRICES
The cyberattack on JBS – the world’s largest meat supplier – could see a rise in meat prices, it is feared.
Live-cattle futures tumbled but came off initial lows Tuesday, according to Market Watch.
And Jon Condon from Beef Central said supply issues could cause chaos for weeks, which could result in surging prices.
FOOD SYSTEM CONSOLIDATION IS ‘HUGE HEADACHE’
Consolidation in the food system is a “huge headache”, according to the National Farmers Union.
It claimed the major disruption following the cybersecurity hack on JBS is down to the company controlling one fifth of meat processing in America.
The union tweeted today: “Reason 914 why consolidation in the food system is a huge headache: Because JBS controls about ~20% of meat processing in the U.S., security attacks like this can have massive implications for our national food supply.”
IS THE JBS CYBER ATTACK RESOLVED?
JBS has said that it wil “take time” before the cyber attack is resolved.
“Resolution of the incident will take time, which may delay certain transactions with customers and suppliers,” JBS USA said on Tuesday.
US SENATOR ‘CLOSELY MONITORING’ ATTACK
US Senator Chuck Grassley has said he is “closely monitoring” the JBS cyberattack and hopes to “normalize operations” quickly.
He tweeted: “Im closely monitoring the JBS cyber attack & will get update from JBS/offer help from fed govt JBS processes pork & beef & chicken and needs to normalize operations as soon as possible for farmers + consumers.”
FACTORIES HIT BY THE JBS DISRUPTION
Meat factories across the US, Canada and Australia have been hit by the JBS cyberattack disruption.
Plants impacted by the attack include JBS beef plants in Greeley, Colorado, Cactus, Texas, and Grand Island, Michigan.
A plant in Brooks, Alberta, has also been affected, while operations in Australia are at a standstill.
A representative in Sao Paulo said the company’s Brazilian operations were not impacted.
‘COULD GO ON FOR WEEKS’
Although it is not known how long factories could be shut down for and meat supplies disrupted, one expert fears the chaos could last for weeks.
Jon Condon from Beef Central told ABC Radio Brisbane: “At this point, nobody knows.
“It could be a day, it could be a week, it could be multiple weeks.
“The longer it goes, the worse the situation in terms of supply and disruption.”
US SAYS ATTACK LIKELY FROM RUSSIA
The White House has said that JBS informed the US government that the ransomware attack against the company originated from a criminal organization likely based in Russia.
White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said the US has contacted Russia’s government about the matter and that the FBI is investigating.
She said: “The White House has offered assistance to JBS and our team at the Department of Agriculture have spoken to their leadership several times in the last day.
“JBS notified the administration that the ransom demand came from a criminal organization likely based in Russia.
“The White House is engaging directly with the Russian government on this matter and delivering the message that responsible states do not harbor ransomware criminals.”
‘SOME FOOD SERVICE SHORTAGES’
It is not known how long the fallout from the cyberattack will last, but several experts have claimed it could go on for weeks, creating meat supply issues around the globe.
Matthew Wiegand, a risk management consultant and commodity broker at FuturesOne in Nebraska, said any impact on consumers would depend on how long production is impacted.
He added: “If it lingers for multiple days, you see some food service shortages.
“The good thing is that this happened after Memorial Day. You are on the downhill side of summer demand and summer bookings.”
MCDONALD’S BEEF PATTY SUPPLY COULD BE IMPACTED
McDonald’s’ supply of beef patties could be impacted by the JBS cyberattack.
Jon Condon from Beef Central said the fast-food chain, as well as supermarkets, will be the most immediately impacted customers, with the chaos potentially lasting for weeks.
He wrote: “Supermarkets and other large end-users like the McDonald’s burger pattie supply network will be some of the most immediately impacted customers, due to their need for consistent supply, if the current stoppage lasts for any significant length of time.”
WHITE HOUSE MONITORING HACK
The White House said on Tuesday that it is monitoring the cyber attack on JBS.
JBS MICHIGAN HIT
Only workers in maintenance and shipping were scheduled to work in the JBS beef plant in Grand Island, Michigan, on Tuesday.
“We continue to work through the situation and will keep you informed regarding production on Wednesday,” it said in a Facebook post.
JBS DELAYS REPORTED
The United States Cattlemen’s Association, an industry group, reported delays in a Twitter post.
TWENTY PERCENT OF US PRODUCTION WIPED OUT
The JBS cyber attack has halted nearly 20 percent of meat production in the US as five plants shut down on Tuesday.
Closures began to spread as the full impact of the hack was discovered.
One of Canada’s largest beef plants is now idle for a second day.
Operations across Australia are also down.
JBS BEEF TEXAS CANCELS SHIFTS
Employees were told not to come to work in the JBS Beef plant in Cactus, Texas, on Tuesday as a result of the cyber attack.
“We will not operate tomorrow. Buses will not run. ONLY MAINTENANCE, MATERIAL HANDLING, and FREEZERS ARE SCHEDULED TO WORK,” it said in a Facebook post.
FIVE JBS PLANTS IN US CLOSED
JBS has been forced to close its five biggest plants in the US as a result of Sunday’s cyber attack.
Altogether these plants handle 22,500 cattle a day.
It wipes out nearly a fifth of America’s production, according to Bloomberg.