- Brazilian meat processing giant JBS is the latest major firm to suffer a ransomware attack.
- JBS has over 64,000 meatpackers in the US and is responsible for a fifth of beef and pork capacity.
- The White House says the attack originated in Russia and that the FBI is investigating.
- See more stories on Insider's business page.
JBS, the world's largest meat processing company, has become the latest major firm to fall victim to a ransomware attack, bringing some production to a halt, the company said on Monday.
The Brazil-based meatpacker's US operations are headquartered in Greeley, Colorado, and control an estimated one-fifth of the country's slaughtering capacity for beef and pork. The company employs more than 64,000 workers in the US, many of whom are reporting cancelled shifts during the stoppage.
"On Sunday, May 30, JBS USA determined that it was the target of an organised cybersecurity attack, affecting some of the servers supporting its North American and Australian IT systems," the company said in a Monday statement.
"Resolution of the incident will take time, which may delay certain transactions with customers and suppliers," the statement said.
A White House spokesperson said JBS notified the US government about the attack, which is thought to have originated in Russia. The FBI is investigating, as well.
"Even one day of disruption will significantly impact the beef market and wholesale beef prices," a livestock trade publication wrote, while analysts told Reuters that the disruption to JBS's business could lead to higher prices for meat and potential shortages in some areas if the shutdowns continue.
On Tuesday, the US Department of Agriculture delayed its daily wholesale price report, citing "packer submission issues." Agriculture markets rely on the data, but leaving JBS out of the report could reveal proprietary information about its competitors, Bloomberg reported.
Last month, a cyber attack on Colonial Pipeline's billing system led to supply shocks across the southeastern US when the company chose to shut off service for several days. Colonial quickly paid the $4.4 million ransom to the hacker group Dark Side.
"This decision was not made lightly, however, one that had to be made," Colonial CEO Joseph Blount said in a statement.