Memo: Meat Companies Be On Alert

Jun 4, 2021

In case you missed it, the U.S. cattle market is the latest victim of a cyberattack.

JBS USA and JBS Australia were affected over the weekend, making Sunday Funday a little less fun. The attack slashed slaughter numbers by 27,000 on Tuesday alone.

As the largest beef and pork processor in the U.S., JBS accounts for 23% of total cattle slaughter. Plants in Nebraska, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin were halted, as well as all Australian operations and the largest beef plant in Canada.

The attack took out the company’s IT systems and servers, which ultimately stalled operations. News of the attack, combined with the long weekend and surging corn prices, sent both live and feeder cattle markets down early Tuesday.

Status update: JBS returned to running at ‘nearly full capacity’ on Thursday, just as reports revealed the cyber-criminals behind the hack. The FBI announced that Russian-speaking and ransom-demanding gang REvil was responsible for the attack.

Zoom out: JBS did not comment if they paid a ransom to lift the cyberattack, but with the Colonial Pipeline hack last month, many are curious if this will become a trend.

What’s more alarming? A REvil spokesman shared online last October that the cyber gang had new goals to target agriculture companies.