Meat producer closes slaughterhouse after cyberattack business and economic news


A cyber attack on JBS SA, the world’s largest meat producer, has forced some slaughterhouses around the world to close, and there are signs that the closure is spreading.

According to the company’s Facebook post, employees, and labor union, JBS’s five largest beef processing plants in the United States process a total of 22,500 head of cattle a day, and have stopped meat processing after Sunday’s attack on the company’s computer network. According to a trade organization, slaughter operations in Australia have ceased, and one of Canada’s largest beef processing plants closed on Tuesday for the second day.

As hackers increasingly target critical infrastructure, the prospect of a larger global shutdown has disrupted the agricultural market and raised concerns about food security. In the United States alone, JBS accounts for nearly one-quarter of all beef production capacity and nearly one-fifth of all pork production capacity. Livestock futures fell.

The company said in an email that the Brazilian meat giant shut down its computer networks in North America and Australia after an organized attack on some of its servers on Sunday. JBS did not comment on the operations of its factory, but stated that the incident may delay certain transactions with customers and suppliers.

“Retailers and beef processors have a long weekend and need to catch up with orders,” Steiner Consulting Group said in its daily livestock report. “If they suddenly receive a call stating that they may not be able to deliver the product this day or this week, they will face a very significant challenge in maintaining factory operations and retail inventory.”

According to union officials and employees, JBS closed meat processing facilities in Utah, Texas, Wisconsin, and Nebraska on Tuesday, and cancelled shifts at factories in Iowa and Colorado. The Union Facebook post also stated that some killings and manufacturing shifts in the United States have also been cancelled. According to union officials and employees, the owner of Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., the second largest chicken producer in the United States, also shut down pork and chicken facilities across the United States.

JBS did not comment on the closure of the US plant, but the company stated that its Brazilian plant is operating normally.

JBS shares in Sao Paulo rose 1.4%, while Brazil’s Ibovespa benchmark index rose 1.5%. Chicago Bull futures fell 3.4% to the lowest level since January 12, and then narrowed the decline to around 1%. The possible closure of the slaughterhouse at the JBS plant has exacerbated the existing oversupply and the number of cattle exceeds the processing capacity.

Due to “packers submitting issues,” the US Department of Agriculture’s noon beef and pork report did not disclose prices. However, CME Group’s pork futures contract rose more than 2%.

According to an investor report by Tyson, JBS is the largest beef producer in the United States, accounting for 23% of the largest production capacity in the United States, while rival Tyson Foods has a share of 22%.

According to company documents, JBS USA’s beef and pork division and Pilgrim’s Pride will have net income of approximately US$40 billion in 2020. The division includes operations in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Europe.

Only three weeks after Colonial Pipeline Co., the largest gasoline pipeline operator in the United States, became the target of a ransomware attack, the JBS attack occurred in the eyes of hackers, and now hackers are targeting the commodity industry. This also happened as the global meat industry struggled with the lingering Covid-19 lack of work after recovering from a massive outbreak of factory closures and supply disruptions last year.

Allan Liska, senior security architect at network security analysis company Recorded Future, said: “Although JBS has not confirmed that this is a ransomware attack, it has all the characteristics of a ransomware attack.” Since May 2020, the food company. “The actual number may be higher.”

According to Scott Payne, a local 401 spokesperson for the United Food and Commercial Workers Canada Union, the cyber attack affected the Canadian beef factory in Brooks, Alberta, about 190 kilometers (118 miles) east of Calgary. Shifts are cancelled. According to the Canadian Animal Husbandry Association, the factory processes 30% of Canada’s federally inspected cattle.

Tim Deelstra of UFCW Canada Local 175 said Monday that the JBS packaging facility in Belleville, Ontario is operating normally, which prepares beef, pork and salmon for grocery stores. In the United States, UFCW Local 7 posted on Facebook that the killing and manufacturing shifts of Class A and Class B were cancelled on June 1. Local 7 members include 3,000 workers from JBS in Greeley, Colorado.

JBS has facilities in 20 countries. According to company data, the United States accounts for half of the company’s revenue, while Australia and New Zealand account for 4%, and Canada accounts for 3%. The company also has operations in South America and Europe.

Backup server is good

According to a statement from JBS USA on Monday, the backup server was not affected and the company is working to restore the system as soon as possible. The processor stated that it was not aware of any customer, supplier or employee data being leaked or misused.

The Australian Cyber ​​Security Centre is providing technical assistance to JBS, and Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said that the government is working with international partners to try to track, correct and prosecute those who committed the attacks when possible.

According to its website, JBS is Australia’s largest meat and food processor, with a portfolio of beef, lamb, pork and value-added brand products. It exports to more than 50 countries, and its Dinmore plant is the largest beef plant in the southern hemisphere. In the domestic market, the Australian Meat Industry Council stated that there is no sign that the attack will have a significant impact on the supply of red meat and pork products.

However, Thomas Elder Markets Commodity Market Insight Manager Matt Dalgleish (Matt Dalgleish) said that if the shutdown continues, it will still be a big problem for exports. He pointed out that Australia will be about 70% to 75% Red meat products from sheep and cattle are shipped overseas. Global supply is also at risk.

Dalgleish said: “If this is a short-term situation, just a week or the time they are offline, then it may be just the smallest minor issue.” But “considering the global scale of JBS, if they are offline for more than a week, then we are sure You will see the supply chain is disrupted,” he said.

– With the assistance of Jason Scott, Sybilla Gross, Michael Hirtzer, Marcy Nicholson, Alyza Sebenius and Lydia Mulvany.


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