Ransomware hits food supply giant JBS – and highlights a terrible threat


Disruptive force of Ransomware Has been fully showcased last month, thanks to Colonial pipeline For several days, fuel distribution to an important pipeline on the east coast of the United States was interrupted. Now, another attack that occurred over the weekend is threatening the food supply chain, reiterating that ransomware is an urgent national and international security issue.

JBS SA is the world’s largest meat processing company, headquartered in Brazil, and employs more than 250,000 people worldwide. in a Monday statementIts US subsidiary JBS USA stated that “it was the target of organized cybersecurity attacks that affected some servers supporting its North American and Australian IT systems.” The company added that its system backups were intact. In response to this attack, JBS USA took the affected systems offline, notified law enforcement agencies, and began to cooperate with external incident response companies to remedy them. Since the attack was first discovered on Sunday, JBS facilities in Australia, the United States, and Canada have been facing outages.

The JBS incident is now spreading throughout the meat industry, causing some factories to close, workers are sent home, and livestock are returned to farmers for slaughter.This is especially true in Australia Impact on the local supply chain, But officials said that if JBS can resume operations quickly, it may contain the consequences.

“JBS is working closely with law enforcement agencies at home and abroad to restore normal operations and bring those responsible to justice,” said David Littleproud, Australian Minister of Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management Tweet Tuesday.

JBS itself has not publicly called the incident a ransomware attack, but the White House’s Chief Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated on Air Force One briefing On Tuesday, the company warned the Biden administration of a ransomware attack on Sunday.she was Add to It was carried out by a “criminal organization that may be based in Russia.”

“The White House is in direct contact with the Russian government on this matter and is sending a message that responsible countries do not harbor ransomware criminals,” Jean-Pierre Tell reporter.

Multiple U.S. presidential administrations have now Grapple And how to impose a meaningful deterrence on foreign hacking. Ransomware attacks are generally economically motivated and carried out by criminal hackers, rather than explicitly state-sponsored actors. When foreign countries do not prosecute criminals or cooperate with international investigations, they fall into a geopolitical gray area.

Brett Callow, a threat analyst at the anti-virus company Emsisoft, said: “Ransomware poses a threat to everything from national security to food safety to healthcare provision-it should definitely be considered the most urgent. One of the global security issues.” And tracked ransomware for many years. “Unless the government quickly formulates and implements an effective strategy to combat ransomware, the problem will only get worse.”

Ransomware has always been a known and active threat to critical infrastructure, especially health care, Over the years, and the situation Significant upgrade With the Covid-19 pandemic raging.Recent attempts by the U.S. government to solve this problem include Join a public-private working group In December. The working group issued a series of recommendations at the end of April.

However, researchers and incident responders emphasized that practical action is urgently needed.But the most effective step-stop all payments to ransomware participants so that they have no incentive to continue-is Difficult to implement in practice.

“It’s all about payment-once it stops making profits, it will stop,” said Jack Williams, a former NSA hacker and founder of security company Rendition Infosec. “You can’t ban payments, which puts operators at a disadvantage. What law enforcement needs to do is to actively analyze tools such as cryptocurrency exchanges and mixers so that hackers cannot cover their tracks and convert ransom payments into legal tender. ”


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