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2nd-Biggest US Meat Producer Recovering From Cyberattack

JBS says it has made 'significant progress' in getting back online
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 2, 2021 12:53 PM CDT

(Newser) – The world’s largest meat processing company is getting back online after production around the world was disrupted by a cyberattack just weeks after a similar incident shut down a US oil pipeline. Brazil’s JBS SA said late Tuesday that it had made "significant progress" in dealing with the cyberattack and expected the "vast majority" of its plants to be operating on Wednesday, the AP reports. "Our systems are coming back online and we are not sparing any resources to fight this threat," Andre Nogueira, CEO of JBS USA, said in a statement. JBS notified the federal government the ransom demand came from the ransomware gang REvil, which is believed to operate in Russia, according to a person familiar with the situation who is not authorized to discuss it publicly, per the AP.

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REvil has not posted anything related to the hack on its darkweb site. But that’s not unusual. Ransomware syndicates as a rule don’t post about attacks when they are in initial negotiations with victims—or if the victims have paid a ransom. JBS is the second-largest producer of beef, pork, and chicken in the US. If it were to shut down for even one day, the country would lose almost a quarter of its beef-processing capacity, or the equivalent of 20,000 beef cows, according to Trey Malone, an assistant professor of agriculture at Michigan State University. JBS said the cyberattack affected servers supporting its operations in North America and Australia; backup servers weren’t affected. JBS didn’t say which of its 84 US facilities were closed Monday and Tuesday because of the attack.

(Read more cyberattack stories.)

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