Cyber attack on JBS Foods
The world’s largest meat processing company, JBS Foods, has fallen victim to cyber attacks that have shut down production around the world, including in Australia.
JBS has 47 facilities across Australia and operates the largest network of production facilities and feedlots in the country. The company also has a meat processing facilities in North and South America, Brazil and Canada. Thousands of meat-workers across Australia have been sent home as a result of the recent cyber attacks, according to the Australian Meat Industry Employees’ Union.
The company’s information systems were the main target of the cyberattack which sent the organisation into chaos globally. The five-day shutdown threatened Australia’s meat supply chain, with temporary staff lay-offs at some of the company’s plants and reports from farmers that their shipments of livestock were cancelled.
In a statement, a JBS spokesperson said the company took immediate action by contacting authorities and enlisting the help of IT experts across the globe to help fix the issue.
“All of the animals coming into the system, and all the meat going out of the system are all done by computers, whereas in the old days it was done with the labelling and tagging system,” Tasmanian Secretary Andrew Foden said.
The situation is also having big implications for farmers elsewhere in the country. Gabrielle Coupland farms on the southern NSW border and delivers sheep to the JBS plant at Brooklyn just outside of Melbourne. She said deliveries were cancelled on Monday and the shutdown had caused huge disruption to the supply chain in the region.
Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud confirmed the government was investigating the hack and working to get the company back online.
At the time of publishing it has been confirmed that JBS paid the equivalent of $US11 million ($14.2 million) to a criminal gang to end a five-day cyber attack that halted its operations around the world, including Australia. The company said it paid the money to mitigate any unforeseen issues related to the attack and ensure no data was exfiltrated. The ransom was paid in bitcoin.
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