JBS USA, a US subsidiary of the world’s largest meat supplier, with headquarters in Colorado, was targeted in an “organised cyberattack” that impacted IT systems in North America and Australia, the company said on Monday.
The company said it suspended affected systems, notified authorities and activated IT staff and “third-party experts to resolve the situation,” according to a statement.
“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. “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. “
A resolution “will take time, which may delay certain transactions with customers and suppliers,” the company announced.
It was not immediately clear whether the company was targeted in a ransomware attack, in which a system is compromised for financial gain by scrambling a company or organisation’s data with encryption and demanding a ransom to remove it.
The Independent has requested additional comment from JBS.
JBS USA, a subsidiary of Brazil’s JBS SA, is the world’s largest beef and pork processor. The company did not provide additional details about impacts to production across its meatpacking plants and dozens of others facilities and transportation terminals in its supply chain.
Bloomberg reported that the attack affected processing at one of Canada’s largest meatpacking plants.
The Financial Review also reported that cattle and sheep slaughtering was suspended at an Australian facility.
The company’s announcement and growing concerns about attacks on US commodities follows an attack on Colonial Pipeline, a critical artery for the nation’s energy infrastructure, triggering panic-buying of gasoline at pumps in the southeast and leading to gas shortages.
The Georgia-based company admitted to paying a $4.4m ransom in Bitcoin to DarkSide, a Russian-based hacking group, following the attack.
President Joe Biden’s administration has ordered pipeline operators to conduct cybersecurity assessments.
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