Sunday, June 20

The meat giant JBS closes plants in North America and Australia after a cyberattack of supposed Russian origin


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The Brazilian meat giant JBS It is the latest victim of large-scale hacking: its US affiliate said it was extorted through a cyber attack that it believes originated in Russia and forced him to suspend part of his production in Australia Y North America.

The US affiliate of JBS received a lawsuit from “a criminal organization probably based in Russia” after an attack that affected its operations in Australia and North America, a White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre explained Tuesday.

The White House statement comes less than a month after another large ransom-demand cyberattack temporarily shut down the network of pipeline operator Colonial Pipeline, which supplies about 45% of the fuel consumed on the East Coast of the United States.

Jean-Pierre pointed out that the government of Joe Biden offered assistance to JBS, and that the Department of Agriculture has spoken several times with the leaders of the company.

“The White House is in direct contact with the Russian government on this issue and sends the message that the responsible states do not harbor ‘ransomware’ criminals,” the spokeswoman said.

The ‘ransomware’ is a scheme that takes advantage of the security flaws of a computer system to block it and then demand a ransom to resume it.

JBS, a Brazilian-based multinational specialized in beef, chicken and pork-based products, is one of the largest agri-food companies in the world, with operations in the United States, Australia, Canada, Europe, Mexico, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. .

“JBS USA was determined to be the target of an organized cybersecurity attack, which affected some of the servers that support its computer systems in North America and Australia,” the company said in a statement Monday.

JBS said its backup servers were not affected by the incident, but the statement did not provide details on the status of the plants.

The company did not immediately respond to AFP inquiries.

In Australia, JBS operations were paralyzed by the attack, and up to 10,000 workers were sent home without pay, according to a union delegate.

“This is affecting the JBS processing plants (in Australia),” Queensland union secretary Matt Journeaux told AFP. “They have removed workers from all JBS operations,” he added.

Journeaux said the company had not reported when operations will resume.

Several JBS plants in North America were also affected.

In the United States, a center in Wisconsin reported that there would be no production on Monday. Another plant in Utah was also not operating. In Iowa, one plant was left with four departments idle, while the remaining units were operating normally.

Cancellation of operations

The Union United Food and Commercial Workers, which represents workers in Colorado and Wyoming, said slaughterhouse and manufacturing shifts were canceled Monday.

JBS’s Canadian division canceled some operations on Monday and early Tuesday, but later indicated on Facebook that it would restart production normally.

Colonial Pipeline’s shutdown for several days in May triggered panic buying in some US states, ending when the company paid hackers $ 4.4 million to unlock its systems, the firm acknowledged.

The US authorities accused the attack on DarkSide, a group of cybercriminals allegedly based in Russia, something that Moscow denies.

Colonial Pipeline’s computer vulnerabilities led the Biden government last week to impose cybersecurity requirements on pipelines for the first time.

The JBS and Colonial Pipeline incidents follow the cyberattack on the software company SolarWinds in 2020, attributed to a group backed by the Russian state.

Last week, Microsoft warned that the group behind the SolarWinds cyberattack had resurfaced with a series of attacks on government agencies, think tanks, consultancies and other organizations.

“The cybersecurity landscape is constantly evolving and we must adapt to address new and emerging threats,” the head of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said on Thursday, Alejandro Mayorkas, it’s a statement.

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