By Agence France-Presse
White House spokeswoman Karen Jean-Pierre explained on Tuesday that the US-based JBS Corporation has filed a lawsuit against a “likely Russia-based criminal organization” after an attack that affected its operations in Australia and North America.
The White House statement comes less than a month after another major ransomware cyber attack temporarily shut down the network of pipeline operator Colonial Pipeline, which supplies about 45% of fuel consumed on the US East Coast.
Jean-Pierre noted that Joe Biden’s government has offered assistance to JBS, and that the Department of Agriculture has spoken several times with company leaders. The White House is in direct contactOr with the Russian government on this issue and sends a message that the responsible countries do not host A spokeswoman for ransomware criminals said.
Ransomware is a scheme that takes advantage of vulnerabilities in a computer system to block it and then demands a ransom to restart it.
Many plants were affected
JBS, a Brazilian multinational company specializing in beef, chicken and pork products, is one of the largest agri-food companies in the world, with operations in the United States, Australia, Canada, Europe, Mexico, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
“JBS USA decided to be the target of an organized cyber security attack, which affected some servers that supports computer systems in North America and Australia,” the company said in a statement on Monday.
JBS said its backup servers were not affected by the incident, but the statement did not provide details on the status of the stations. The company did not immediately respond to AFP’s inquiries. In Australia, JBS operations were paralyzed by the attack, and up to 10,000 workers were sent home without pay, According to the union representative.
“This is affecting the GPS processing plants (in Australia),” union secretary Matt Journeau told AFP. “They have removed workers from all JBS operations,” he added.
Journeau said the company had not reported when it would resume operations. Several JBS factories in North America were also affected.
In the US, a plant in Wisconsin reported that there would be no production on Monday. Another plant in Utah was also not working. In Iowa, one plant with four divisions was left idle, while the remaining units were operating normally.
The United Food and Commercial Workers’ Federation, which represents workers in Colorado and Wyoming, said my “slaughterhouse” and “manufacturing” shifts were canceled Monday.
JBS’s Canadian division canceled some operations on Monday and dawn Tuesday, but later indicated on Facebook that it would restart production as normal.
Cyber Security Weaknesses
The company admitted that the multi-day shutdown of Colonial Pipeline in May triggered buying panic in some US states, ending when the company paid hackers $4.4 million to unlock its systems.
US authorities have accused DarkSide, a group of cybercriminals allegedly based in Russia, of the attack, something Moscow denies. Computing vulnerabilities at Colonial Pipeline led the Biden government last week to impose cybersecurity requirements on pipelines for the first time.
The JBS and Colonial Pipeline incidents come on the heels of the cyber attack on software company SolarWinds in 2020, attributed to a Russian state-backed group.
Last week, Microsoft warned that the group behind the SolarWinds cyber attack has resurfaced with a series of attacks on government agencies, think tanks, consulting and other organizations. “The cybersecurity landscape is constantly evolving and we must adapt to meet new and emerging threats,” Alejandro Mallorcas, head of the US Department of Homeland Security, said in a statement Thursday.