Russia blamed for hacking attack on US meatpackers

Brazil’s JBS, the world’s largest producer of meat products, reported a cyber attack on its US and Australian subsidiaries originating from Russia. The cyber attack was accompanied by a ransom demand for the safety of company data.

According to Reuters, JBS suspended operations at its plants in Australia on Monday and in the US on Tuesday, where the company accounts for 20% of its beef and pork production. According to the US Department of Agriculture, the country’s beef production was down 22% on Tuesday 1 June compared to the same day a week ago, and pork production was also down markedly.

However, the company said it had hooked up redundant IT systems and had made significant progress in resolving the problem, so that on Wednesday the “vast majority” of its US production will resume operations. This has slightly allayed fears of a spike in meat prices in the country at the start of the barbecue season. Meat in America is already expensive due to rising exports to China, higher feed costs and labour shortages.

JBS также проинформировал о нападении федеральное правительство. По словам заместителя пресс-секретаря Белого дома Карин Жан-Пьер, администрация связалась с российскими властями по этому поводу, и ФБР начало расследование. «Белый дом […] ясно дает понять, что ответственные страны не укрывают преступных вымогателей», – сказала она.

In May, hackers from Russia were credited with a cyberattack on the largest oil pipeline in the US, Colonial Pipeline. Then gasoline and jet fuel supplies to the southeast of the country stopped for several days, and the company eventually paid a ransom.