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The mysterious cyberattack paralyzes the world’s largest meat supplier

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A cyberattack forced the world’s largest meat supplier, JBS, to shut down pork and beef processing at some factories in the United States, Canada and Australia on Monday and Tuesday. It is unclear which group orchestrated the attack, and there is no word on when operations will resume at the affected facilities in Ottumwa, Iowa; Worthington, Minnesota; Cactus, Texas; Greeley, Colorado; Brooks, Alberta; and throughout Australia.

In a press release, JBS USA called the raid an “organized cybersecurity attack” and said it was targeting servers that support its North American and Australian IT systems.

“The company’s backup services have not been affected, and they are actively working with an Incident Response Company to restore their systems as soon as possible,” JBS USA said. “The company does not know any evidence at this time that any customer, supplier or employee data has been compromised or abused as a result of the situation.”

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JBS is responsible for about 25 per cent of all meat processing in the United States, and about 20 per cent of all meat processing in Australia. The company has 47 plants and about 11,000 employees in Australia alone. An Australian government official said it could take days before production resumes in the country, according to him AP.

Cyberattacks targeting critical infrastructure appear to be on the rise. In May, a group of ransomware took the Colonial Pipeline and caused a wave of fuel shortages in parts of the United States. It has been one of the largest ransomware attacks to date, and has forced it to DHS is TSA to impose new guidelines requires pipeline owners to notify federal authorities if they are victims of a ransomware attack.

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