Russia Suspected After U.S. Hit With Cyberattack

( Another major industry in America has been forced to shutdown as a result of another cyberattack.

On Tuesday, JBS, the largest meat producer in the world, shutdown all of its beef plants that are based in the United States in response to a cyberattack. The company is based in Brazil.

The shutdown affected all nine beef plants in the U.S., including those in Colorado, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Utah, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Texas and Arizona. The company’s pork plants that are based in the U.S. are still fully operational, according to the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, which represents roughly 25,000 of JBS’ workers.

The plants that have been closed produce almost 25% of the beef supply in the United States. The company employs more than 66,000 people at its 84 plants across the country.

This recent cyberattack and shutdown raised many concerns of a forthcoming meat shortage in the United States as well as other countries that are being impacted by the entire situation. It’s not clear yet if and how the shutdown would affect meat prices either.

The company hasn’t yet commented directly on the matter.

However, JBS USA did say on Sunday that it discovered an “organized cybersecurity attack” that was impacting some of its systems in Australia and the United States. They said it would “take time” to resolve the breach, warning it “may delay certain transactions with customers and suppliers.”

The company still has yet to publicly disclose whether they were the target of a ransomware attack. The White House, though, said it was not only aware of the what was going on, but that a criminal group in Russia is believed to be responsible for this latest attack.

At a recent press briefing, Karine Jean-Pierre, the principal deputy press secretary for the White House, said:

“JBS notified the administration that the ransom demand came from a criminal organization likely based in Russia. The White House is engaging directly with the Russian government on this matter and delivering the message that responsible states do not harbor ransomware criminals.”

The FBI is already conducting an investigation into the matter along with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. The Department of Agriculture, meanwhile, is working with other meat processors to see if they can fill the gaps in the meantime.

Jean-Pierre also added:

“Combating ransomware is a priority for the administration. President Biden has already launched a rapid strategic review to address the increased threat of ransomware.”

This apparent ransomware attack on a major U.S. meat processor follows an attack on one of the country’s largest pipeline companies only a month ago.

The Colonial Pipeline Company was the target of a major ransomware attack that forced it to shut down its operations in early May. That caused a major shortage in oil being shipped to the eastern U.S., especially in the southeast. Gas was hard to come by for drivers, and prices soared to very high prices.

The pipeline was eventually restarted, but not until the company paid a multi-million-dollar ransom to the Russian hacking group behind the attack.