Cyberattack Leads to Shutdown of JBS’s U.S. Beef Plants

Clint Thompson Beef

A cyberattack on JBS SA, the largest meat producer globally, forced the shutdown of all nine of its U.S. beef plants, wiping out output from facilities that supply almost a quarter of American supplies.

Bloomberg reports an official with the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union noted JBS’s fed-beef and regional beef plants were forced to shutter, and all other JBS meatpacking facilities in the country experienced some level of disruption to operations.

Slaughter operations across Australia were also down, according to a trade group, and one of Canada’s largest beef plants was idled. That comes after a weekend attack on the Brazilian company’s computer networks, according to JBS posts on Facebook, labor unions and employees.

It’s unclear exactly how many plants globally have been affected by the ransomware attack on the Sao Paulo-based JBS. The prospect of more extensive shutdowns worldwide is already upending agricultural markets and raising concerns about food security as hackers increasingly target critical infrastructure.

This has happened as the global meat industry continues to battle lingering Covid-19 absenteeism after recovering from outbreaks last year that saw plants shut and supplies disrupted.

The White House has offered assistance to JBS after the company notified the Biden administration of the cyberattack.