The world’s largest meat company, JBS Foods, has announced it was hit by a ransomware attack.

On Monday, the company said, “JBS USA determined it was targeted by an organized hack, affecting some of our servers supporting our North American and Australian systems… solving the incident will take time, which might delay some transactions with customers.”

On the CME, futures decreased by more than 3%, before regaining some of their losses, as traders try to handicap the possible disruption to the American food supply while reports are being made that JBS could be shutting down some of its operations in the U.S. and Australia. And on Tuesday, there were news reports of facilities already being taken offline.

The Biden Administration is also seeking to work with the FBI and the USDA to watch the situation.

“USDA has contacted numerous large meat processors in the country to guarantee they are aware of the problem. We are watching any changes on supply and the President has asked his team to determine what can be done to stop any further impact” said Karine Jean-Pierre, principal deputy press secretary.

She also said the hackers were likely based in Russia.

“JBS notified the Biden White House that the attack came from a criminal group possibly based inside Russia. The White House is working with the Russian government on this issue and giving the message that responsible nations do not protect criminals,” she stated.

If the JBS hack is not solved soon it might cause very tight supplies of beef and pork and higher prices for restaurants. It might also lead to shortages like we saw at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Worst case: restaurants limit supply and we go through shortages.

JBS is the latest company to be targeted by a cyberattack after the Colonial Pipeline was also hit by such an attack by a Russian hacking group called DarkSide.

Colonial Pipeline Company is the largest fuel pipeline in the nation and was forced offline due to the hack, leading to gas shortages and panic buying.

The company’s CEO reported that they paid the $5 million ransom to release its systems and get fuel going again.

Author: Steven Sinclaire

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