Slaughterhouse closures extended after cyberattack on meat producers Business and Economy News


A cyber attack on JBS SA, the world’s largest meat producer, has forced the closure of some slaughterhouses worldwide and there are signs that the closures are extending.

The five largest beef plants in the U.S., which combine 22,500 beefs a day, have stopped processing meat, according to company Facebook posts, employees and unions, following Sunday’s attack on computer networks. the company. According to a trade group, slaughter operations in Australia had already been halted and one of Canada’s largest beef plants was inactive on Tuesday its second day.

The prospect of more widespread shutdowns around the world is already affecting agricultural markets and raising food security concerns as hackers increasingly turn to critical infrastructure. In the United States alone, JBS accounts for nearly a quarter of beef capacity and nearly one-fifth of pork capacity. Future ranchers fell.

The Brazilian meat giant shut down its US and Australian computer networks following an organized assault on some of its servers on Sunday, the company said in an email. Without commenting on operations at its plants, JBS said the incident could delay certain transactions with customers and suppliers.

“Retailers and beef makers come from a long weekend and need to catch up with orders,” Steiner Consulting Group said in its Daily Livestock Report. “If they suddenly get a call saying the product may not be delivered tomorrow or this week, it will create very significant challenges in keeping the plants running and stocking up on the retail box.”

JBS closed meat processing facilities in Utah, Texas, Wisconsin and Nebraska and on Tuesday canceled shifts at plants in Iowa and Colorado, according to union officials and employees. Union Facebook posts also said some manufacturing changes and killings in the U.S. have also been canceled. Pork and chicken facilities across the country are also being closed by the owner of Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., the second-largest chicken producer in the United States, according to union officials and employees.

JBS did not comment on US plant closures, although the company said its Brazilian plants are operating normally.

JBS shares rose 1.4% in Sao Paulo, compared to the 1.5% increase in Brazil’s Ibovespa benchmark. Future Chicago ranchers fell as much as 3.4% to the lowest levels since Jan. 12, before reducing losses to about 1%. Possible slaughterhouse closures at JBS plants aggravated an existing oversupply, with too many cattle as the ability to process them.

U.S. Department of Agriculture noon reports on beef and pork did not reveal prices due to “packer presentation problems.” However, the CME group’s pork futures contract increased by more than 2%.

JBS is the largest beef producer in the United States, accounting for 23% of the country’s maximum capacity compared to Tyson Foods Inc.’s 22% stake, according to a report from Tyson investors.

The beef and pork units of JBS USA and Pilgrim’s Pride earned net revenues of about $ 40 billion by 2020, according to company statements. The division includes operations in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Europe.

Now hackers have their sights set on the commodity industry; the JBS attack will come just three weeks after Colonial Pipeline Co., the largest U.S. pipeline operator, was the target of a ransomware attack. It has also happened when the global meat industry struggles with persistent covid-19 absenteeism after recovering from last year’s massive outbreaks that shut down plants and disrupted supply.

“While JBS has not confirmed that this is a ransomware attack, it has all the distinctive features,” said Allan Liska, senior security architect at cybersecurity analysis firm Recorded Future, who said there there have been more than 40 publicly reported ransomware attacks against food companies since May 2020. “The actual number is probably higher.”

The cyber attack affected the Canadian beef plant in Brooks, Alberta, about 190 kilometers (118 miles) east of Calgary, with shifts canceled Monday and Tuesday, according to Scott Payne, a spokesman for the United 401. the plant processes 30% of federally inspected Canadian livestock, according to the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association.

A JBS packaging facility in Belleville, Ontario, where beef, pork and salmon are prepared for grocery stores, was operating normally, Tim Deelstra of UFCW Canada Local 175 said Monday. , UFCW Local 7 posted on Facebook that manufacturing and slaughter shifts A and B were canceled on June 1st. Membership in Local 7 includes 3,000 employees at JBS in Greeley, Colorado.

JBS has facilities in 20 countries. The United States accounts for half of the company’s revenue, while Australia and New Zealand account for 4% and Canada 3%, according to the company’s fillings. The company also has operations in South America and Europe.

Good backup servers

Backup servers were unaffected and the company is working to restore the systems as soon as possible, according to a JBS USA statement on Monday. The processor said it is not aware that customer, vendor or employee data is compromised or misused.

The Australian Cybersecurity Center provides technical assistance to JBS, while Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has said the government is working with international partners to try to track, rectify and prosecute, where possible, those who perpetrated the ‘attack.

According to its website, JBS is the largest Australian meat and food processor with a portfolio of beef, lamb, pork and value-added products. It exports to more than 50 countries and its Dinmore facilities are the largest beef plant in the southern hemisphere. In the domestic market, the Australian Meat Industry Council said there were no indications that the attack would have a major impact on the supply of red meat and pork products.

Still, the shutdown is a major concern for exports if it drags on, said Matt Dalgleish, Thomas Elder Markets’ commodity markets knowledge manager, and pointed to Australian vessels overseas. between 70% and 75% of red sheep and beef products. There is also a risk to supplies around the world.

“If it’s a short-term scenario, just a week or something offline, it’s probably just a minimal hiccup,” Dalgleish said. But “given the size of JBS globally, if they were offline for more than a week, we will see that supply chains will be safely disrupted,” he said.

–With the assistance of Jason Scott, Sybilla Gross, Michael Hirtzer, Marcy Nicholson, Alyza Sebenius and Lydia Mulvany.

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