JBS USA, a subsidiary of the world’s largest processor of beef and pork, has been hit with a ‘cybersecurity attack’.
As a result, the global meat giant faced disruptions including shutting down meatpacking facilities and abattoirs, according to multiple reports.
However, governments banded together to resolve production, after the attack was speculated to have come from a Russian criminal organization.
JBS USA ‘cybersecurity attack’
The company announced it was the target of an ‘organized cybersecurity attack’ last week. As a result, IT systems in the US and Australia were affected.
JBS São Paulo also revealed the attack was part of a ransom demand.
Moreover, JBS warned its customers and suppliers may experience delays. However, it said it was ‘not aware’ of any evidence that customer data had been ‘compromised’.
But the damage was worse than predicted, according to reports.
Cattle slaughter at all US plants was halted, and fears grew that meat prices could rise if the giant couldn’t resolve the issue quickly, Reuters claimed. Plus, thousands of abattoir and meatpacking workers were stood down.
‘Business as usual’
Just days later, JBS USA announced production was expected to resume this week following a ‘rapid recovery’.
CEO Andrew Nogueira said: “JBS USA and Pilgrim’s continue to make significant progress in restoring our IT systems and returning to business as usual.
“Today, the vast majority of our facilities resumed operations as we forecast yesterday, including all of our pork, poultry, and prepared foods facilities around the world and the majority of our beef facilities in the US and Australia.”
Global operations are anticipated to resume at full capacity today.
Additionally, JBS USA revealed it received support from governments across the globe to resolve the incident.
In a separate statement, Nogueira added: “I want to personally thank the White House, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, the US Department of Agriculture, and the Australian and Canadian governments for their assistance over the last two days.”
Whilst a spokesperson for The White House claimed the attack was likely from Russia, president Vladamir Putin denied any knowledge, according to The Financial Times.
JBS plant-based products
Despite allegations surrounding JBS’s involvement with illegal Amazon deforestation, the meat giant has launched various plant-based products.
For example, the vegan meat range Ozo was launched last year in order to meet surging demand. It included burgers, a ground vegan beef alternative, and meatballs.
Additionally, JBS acquired Vivera in a staggering €341 million deal. Part of the sale includes the development of three manufacturing units and a research center in The Netherlands.
Moreover, the deal is hoped to give JBS a ‘stronghold’ in the plant-based sector.