World’s Largest Meat Supplier Under Cyber Attack

Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

Hackers attack JBS, the world’s largest meat producer which results in the company closing all of its US beef plants down. The said attack also affected other meat facilities both in Australia and Canada. This massively affects meat supplies of about a quarter of what American households use. What else do hackers not attack anymore?

Since almost everything is accessible online, somehow, everything can also be accessed illegally. Companies and businesses are also making sure that they use systems and latest technology making their work easier and cut out for them. This is something quite useful but risks are always there. And as the latest technology progresses, the risks also increase. Also, hackers tend to improve more and more on ways on how they can attack. Just like what happened to JBS. Therefore, companies and individuals must be extra careful with their data to avoid certain situations like this.

What Happened?

Bloomberg reported about this incident and said that all of JBS’ fed-beef and regional beef plants were shut down. Consequently, the company’s meatpacking facilities also experienced operation disruptions due to the system being hacked. This report was based on a statement released by an official with the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.

Massive Effects of the Cyber Attack

You might be thinking, how will this affect me? Well, this is definitely a problem not only concerning JBS. Hackers are now slowly targeting the commodities industry just after an attack that happened with Colonial Pipeline Co., operator of the biggest U.S. gasoline pipeline. Bloomberg also reports more than 40 publicly reported ransomware attacks against food companies since May 2020.

This particular news might not be directly felt by consumers yet, however, food supply will be greatly affected if this continues on. With orders piling up and systems chaotic, supply will not be accomplished and prices will go way up.

Reasons Behind The Attack

So cyberattack on a meat producer does not sound typical for you. However, there are a lot of reasons why hackers make these actions. Regardless of the type of company or product they offer, they had their reasons.

JBS hasn’t specifically announced the motive behind the attack or whether the hackers already communicated with them to express their motives. However, they clarified that their backup servers are safe. And they are now working on going back to operations as soon as they can. However, scenarios like this usually occur involving classified data or systems owned by companies.

Gizmodo also explained possible reasons behind the attack as usual, hackers blackmail companies into spreading or selling personal data of the company, employees, or customers. Hackers usually demand payment in exchange for the return of data or for the data to not be released publicly.

JBS Statement (as reported by Beef Central)

On Sunday, May 30, JBS USA determined that it was the target of an organized cybersecurity attack, affecting some of the servers supporting its North American and Australian IT systems. The company took immediate action, suspending all affected systems, notifying authorities and activating the company’s global network of IT professionals and third-party experts to resolve the situation. The company’s backup servers were not affected, and it is actively working with an Incident Response firm to restore its systems as soon as possible.

The company is not aware of any evidence at this time that any customer, supplier or employee data has been compromised or misused as a result of the situation. Resolution of the incident will take time, which may delay certain transactions with customers and suppliers.


Details of the cyberattack and as to how soon it will be resolved are unclear yet. It may be as soon as a day, a week, a month. However, it is evident how big of an impact this might be, if the issue remains unresolved. This will definitely shake the balance between supply and demand. And this will affect not only JBS but suppliers, and definitely, customers as well.

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