JBS Operations Restored Thursday After Cyberattack Closed Plants

JBS USA, the Brazil-based meatpacking company which was hit by a cybersecurity attack on Sunday, announced that its global operations were almost at full capacity and were expected to resume “at close to full capacity” globally on Thursday. The company said it still does not have evidence that data for any individuals was compromised, including employees, customers, or suppliers. 

“The company’s rapid recovery from the cyberattack continued today, providing further assurance to more than 100,000 JBS USA and Pilgrim’s team members, livestock and poultry producer partners, customers and consumers,” Wednesday’s press release said

The cybersecurity attack impacted operations in Australia and North America, and shut down operations at JBS facilities in the United States, Australia, and Canada, including some Pilgrim’s Pride chicken processing plants as JBS is a majority shareholder of the company. The company supplies about one quarter of all beef consumed in the United States. 

“JBS USA and Pilgrim’s continue to make significant progress in restoring our IT systems and returning to business as usual,” said Andre Nogueira, JBS USA CEO. “Today, the vast majority of our facilities resumed operations as we forecast yesterday, including all of our pork, poultry and prepared foods facilities around the world and the majority of our beef facilities in the U.S. and Australia.” 

According to a statement from the FBI, who has been investigating the incident, the attack was attributed to REvil and Sodinokibi. The FBI said it is focusing on imposing consequences and holding them accountable, and noted that “a cyberattack on one in an attack on us all.” 

The incident brought additional attention to the food supply chain, and how it is essential to providing food throughout the nation. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said earlier this week that it was working with the company, the Department of Homeland Security, and the White House to mitigate supply or price issues and had reached out to other meat processors asking them to increase capacity where possible so that the food supply continued. 

“USDA has also been in contact with several food, agriculture and retail organizations to underscore the importance of maintaining close communication and working together to ensure a stable, plentiful food supply. USDA will continue to encourage food and agriculture companies with operations in the United States to take necessary steps to protect their IT and supply chain infrastructure so that it is more durable, distributed and better able to withstand modern challenges, including cybersecurity threats and disruptions,” the USDA press release said