clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

A potential beef shortage? JBS said systems are coming back online after cyberattack

The second largest meat processing company in the U.S. said Tuesday that it was able to ship product from most of its facilities and more operations would resume Wednesday

The company logo sign sits at the entrance to the JBS Australia’s Dinmore meatworks facility.
The company logo sign sits at the entrance to the JBS Australia’s Dinmore meatworks facility, west of Brisbane on May 12, 2020. Thousands of Australian meat workers had no work for a second day after a cyberattack crippled the world’s largest meat processing company.
Dan Peled, AAP Image via AP

After a cyberattack sparked fears of a meat shortage in America, the world’s largest meat processor said most of its U.S. operations would resume Wednesday.

“Our systems are coming back online and we are not sparing any resources to fight this threat,” said JBS USA chief executive Andrew Nogueira in a statement Tuesday. Brazil-based JBS told U.S. officials earlier this week that it had been attacked by Russian ransomeware hackers, The Wall Street Journal reported.

In the United States, JBS is the “second-largest producer of beef, pork and chicken” and a day’s interruption at JPS’s American facilities would comprise nearly a quarter of the country’s beef processing, according to The Associated Press.

  • “Given the progress our IT professionals and plant teams have made in the last 24 hours, the vast majority of our beef, pork, poultry and prepared foods plants will be operational tomorrow,” Nogueira added.
  • In Tuesday’s statement, JBS said operations in the U.S., Australia and Canada had been impacted, but had not found evidence “that any customer, supplier or employee data” was compromised.
  • The meat processing company also said it had been able to “ship product from nearly all of its facilities to supply customers.”

The cyberattack on JBS comes a month after Russian-based hackers demanded a ransom after breaking into Colonial Pipeline’s network — resulting in increased demand and hirer gasoline prices. Colonial Pipeline ultimately paid a $4.4 million ransom in cryptocurrency.

  • The JBS cyberattack — which led to canceled shifts for many U.S. employees on Tuesday — “ratcheted up pressure on a food-supply chain already under strain from labor shortages, production constraints and high transportation costs,” according to The Wall Street Journal.
  • “The closures reflect the reality that modern meat processing plants are heavily automated, for both food- and worker-safety reasons. Computers collect data at multiple stages of the production process, and orders, billing, shipping and other functions are all electronic,” the AP reported.