The world’s biggest meat supplier, JBS, has been hit by a cyber attack, forcing it to interrupt operations in Canada and Australia.
Just a few weeks after an attack on the Colonial Pipeline that affected US petroleum supplies, the world’s biggest meat supplier, Brazilian company JBS, has announced that it has been hacked affecting operations in Canada and Australia.
While operations in the United States were not affected, the US division controls operations in the Canada and Australia, forcing them to shut down their work.
JBS USA oversees beef and lamb operations in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, an operation on a massive scale, which takes in whole segments of the world's supply chain. The US operations were not affected, but it is not yet clear if that was because the company was closed for Memorial Day celebrations when the attack was carried out. There is no confirmation that a ransom was sought by the attackers.
Canadian operations were affected, with the closure of plants in Brooks, Alberta. In Australia, the damage was greater, with the entire beef and lamb kills cancelled across the country.
JBS said in a statement that the "organized cybersecurity attack" was detected on Sunday, "affecting some of the servers supporting its North American and Australian IT systems."
"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."
According to the company, they do not believe "any customer, supplier or employee data has been compromised or misused as a result of the situation". However, JBS has warned customers that delays may be likely. "Resolution of the incident will take time, which may delay certain transactions with customers and suppliers," they said.
The attack signals an apparent escalation in cyber crime targeting supply chains. It is thought that the Colonial Pipeline attack netted as much as $50 million for its attack, but there are no details regarding this attack and whether a ransom was paid. Certainly, after a challenging year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the global food supply chain is only just beginning to recover and may still be vulnerable to shocks from attacks that ultimately will trickle down to restaurants and customers.