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Wednesday, 02 June 2021 11:16

US, Australia operations of globe's biggest meat processor hit by attack Featured

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US, Australia operations of globe's biggest meat processor hit by attack Image by BlackRiv from Pixabay

JBS Foods, the biggest meat-processing operation in the world, has been hit by a cyber-attack that has affected its American and Australian operations.

A statement from the company's American arm on Sunday said it had determined that was the target of an organised cyber-attack.

Monday was Memorial Day in the US, the equivalent of Anzac Day on this side of the world.

JBS has nearly a quarter of a million employees and provides beef, chicken and pork to countries around the globe.

While there has been indication from common ransomware groups about the attack, there has been some speculation that this genre of Windows malware is to blame.

JBS USA said, on noticing the intrusion, it "took immediate action, suspending all affected systems, notifying authorities and activating the company's global network of IT professionals and third-party experts to resolve the situation".

"The company’s back-up servers were not affected, and it is actively working with an Incident Response firm to restore its systems as soon as possible.

"The company is not aware of any evidence at this time that any customer, supplier or employee data has been compromised or misused as a result of the situation. Resolution of the incident will take time, which may delay certain transactions with customers and suppliers."

Commenting on the attack, Dick Bussiere, technical director for APAC at security shop Tenable, said: "The cyber attack on JBS Foods underscores the susceptibility of critical infrastructure to cyber security vulnerabilities, threats and potential outages.

"It also highlights how attractive these industries have become to cyber criminals as more IT and OT systems converge. If the recent attack on Colonial Pipeline has taught us anything, it's that cyber attacks on critical infrastructure don't only impact the organisation but have society-wide implications that cascade into the geographies and supply chains where the organisation operates.

"Organisations cannot afford to shut down entire operations every time a cyberattack occurs. Instead, OT cybersecurity needs to be recognised as a core ingredient to gain visibility, security and control over critical infrastructure environments in Australia and the rest of the world."

Well-known British security boffin Kevin Beaumont put out the following series of tweets which, while humorous, seem quite relevant.


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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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