(Washington) The list of victims of large-scale computer hacking is growing: the American subsidiary of Brazilian JBS, one of the world leaders in meat, has said it has been the target since Sunday of an “organized cyber attack” which directly affects its operations in Australia and North America.
Posted on 1is June 2021 at 2:29 pm
France Media Agency
The company warned US authorities that the cyberattack with ransom demand came from a “criminal organization likely based in Russia,” a White House spokeswoman said on Tuesday.
“The White House is in direct contact with the Russian government on this issue and sends the message that states that show responsibility must not harbor ransomware perpetrators,” a scheme that exploits security loopholes to block ransomware. computer systems and demand a ransom to unlock them, also indicated Karine Jean-Pierre.
“JBS USA has discovered that it is the target of an organized cybersecurity attack, affecting several of the servers on which its computer system is based in North America and Australia,” the company said in a statement on Monday, without specifying the nature of this intrusion detected on Sunday.
This new attack comes less than a month after the one that dramatically hit the US oil pipeline operator Colonial Pipeline and swells the ranks of multinationals hit by massive computer attacks.
All affected systems were shut down and authorities seized, JBS USA said, adding that its back-up systems had not been affected by the incident.
“At this point, the company is not aware of any misuse of customer, supplier or employee data resulting from this situation,” added JBS USA, warning all the same that transactions with its customers and suppliers could be “slowed down”.
The servers providing the backups were not affected, JBS USA said without giving more details on the impact of this attack on its slaughterhouses and processing plants. The company did not immediately respond to AFP’s requests on this subject.
Operations crippled in Australia
In Australia, however, business has been paralyzed and its 10,000 workers sent home without pay, union official Matt Journeaux told AFP. The management of the subsidiary does not yet know when activities can resume, he added.
In the United States, some production lines were suspended Tuesday at at least two group sites in Iowa and a slaughterhouse was closed in Wisconsin, according to messages posted on their respective official Facebook page. A plant in Utah was also shut down, according to an employee who responded to AFP at the site’s standard and did not wish to give his name.
In Canada, a slaughterhouse employing more than 3,300 people had to cancel three shifts on Monday and Tuesday, according to the site’s Facebook page. But production should resume “as scheduled” Tuesday for one of the two teams, he added.
JBS, specializing in beef, chicken and pork products, is one of the largest food companies in the world. In addition to Brazil and other Latin American countries, it is present in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
Australian Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said in a statement he had been made aware of the attack, but declined to comment “until further details are available”.
Five factories in Canada
JBS has 84 sites in the United States, 47 in Australia and 5 in Canada, thus playing an important role in the agricultural sector of these countries.
Offensives against key economic groups have increased in recent months.
One of them targeted Colonial Pipeline, the largest refined products pipeline system in the United States supplying 45% of the fuels on the American east coast.
Forced to close its operations, which led to panic among many motorists, the group admitted having had to pay a ransom of $ 4.4 million.
US authorities blamed the attack on DarkSide, a group of cybercriminals believed to be based in Russia, a charge Moscow refuted. In the process, Washington took steps to improve cybersecurity in the United States.
The attack on Texas-based software company SolarWinds had already shaken the US government and the security of large companies in December.
More recently, the Microsoft email hack, this time attributed to a group of Chinese cyber hackers backed by Beijing, affected at least 30,000 US organizations, including businesses, cities and local communities.