JBS, the world’s largest meat processing firm, hit by cyber assault: NPR

Thousands of Australian meat workers were off work for a second day Tuesday after a cyberattack disrupted the world’s largest meat processing company. A government minister said it could take days for production to resume. Dan Peled / AP Hide caption

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Dan Peled / AP

Thousands of Australian meat workers were off work for a second day Tuesday after a cyberattack disrupted the world’s largest meat processing company. A government minister said it could take days for production to resume.

Dan Peled / AP

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) – Thousands of Australian meat workers were out of work for a second day on Tuesday after a cyber attack disrupted the world’s largest meat processing company. A government minister said it could take days for production to resume.

JBS is also Australia’s largest meat and food processing company with 47 facilities across the country including slaughterhouses, feedlots and meat processors. JBS employs around 11,000 people.

JBS USA said Monday in a statement from Greeley, Colorado that it was the target of an “organized cybersecurity attack” on Sunday that targeted some of its servers that support its North American and Australian IT systems.

“The company’s backup servers were not affected and it is actively working with an incident response company to restore its systems as quickly as possible,” the statement said.

Australian Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said the government and the Australian Federal Police are working with JBS to resolve the issues and prosecute those responsible.

“Despite the fact that JBS accounts for about 20% of our processing output here in Australia, we don’t expect any significant effects on exports unless it is a lengthy shutdown,” Littleproud said Tuesday.

“We’re also working with JBS here in Australia to make sure we can build some limited capacity over the next few days. JBS has been very proactive in this, ”he said.

Littleproud said it was too early to say if it was a ransomware attack or who could be responsible.

Australian workers learned of the attack when they were turned away from their workplaces on Monday.

JBS exports about 70% of its production to Australia. However, Australia and New Zealand only account for 4% of the company’s global sales.

Several livestock shipments in the state of Queensland were canceled at short notice and livestock trucks turned around, the Australian Broadcasting Corp reported.

“We had to send them up on Sunday afternoon and then got the message in the morning that they had to cancel the train because the butcher shop was going to be closed indefinitely,” Queensland cattle farmer Colin Baker told ABC.

“We had a wasted day … because we gathered the cattle together, sorted them out, and then trucked them there, and then we had to bring them home today and let them all go,” added Baker.

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