Thursday, June 17

A cyberattack paralyzes part of US beef production


Updated

The attack has affected the vast majority of the JBS company’s beef, pork and poultry processing plants.

A cyberattack paralyzes part of the production
  • Safety The dangerous group of hackers (and spies) that puts governments around the world on the ropes

A cyber attack on JBS, the world’s largest meat processing company, has left the US without a fifth of its beef production capacity.

The company, based in Brazil, acknowledged yesterday to the US and Australian governments that many of its slaughterhouses and meat cutting and packaging plants have been forced to stop production due to computer blocking.

The attack has affected the vast majority of the company’s beef, pork and poultry processing plants in both territories, but the consequences are especially serious in the case of the former, since JSB is responsible for a fifth of the total. beef market of the country.

“JBS USA is a critical part of the food production chain and we know that we have a responsibility to recover activity as soon as possible,” Andre Nogueira, head of the company’s North American subsidiary, said of the situation. JBS expects to resume activity on Wednesday, June 2.

KNOWN STRATEGY

The incident, however, has set off alarms in the country, which has barely recovered from the effects of a similar attack on the Colonial Pipeline, which is responsible for transporting oil along the east coast of the United States.

In early May, a group of hackers known as DarkSide managed to gain access to Colonial Pipeline systems by exploiting a known software vulnerability and encrypting all its content. He then demanded payment of $ 5 million to decipher it.

These types of attacks in which company information is taken hostage are known as “ransomware” and are rampant around the world.

The stoppage of Colonial Pipeline’s operations resulted in serious supply problems at many gas stations in the southeastern US Finally, due to media pressure and the potential geopolitical conflict, DarkSide decided to hand over the encryption keys to Colonial Pipeline.

According to the company, no payment was made for these keys, but DarkSide has had a very lucrative run in recent years with similar attacks. Many companies have no choice but to pay when they are attacked because the cost of shutting down their activity is much greater than the amount of blackmail.

According to several independent researchers, between 2020 and 2021 DarkSide could have entered more than 90 million dollars (73 million euros) with this type of attack.

In the case of JBS, the person responsible is not yet known, although the White House points to a group of attackers who have acted from Russia. “We are working directly with the Russian government on this matter and sending the message that it is imperative that states do not harbor criminals who carry out ransmoware attacks,” explained Karine Jean-Pierre, a spokeswoman for the White House.

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