Another Cyberattack This Time Wipes Out 1/4th of U.S. Beef Production

Cyberattack

JBS Attacked Which Provides 1/4th of U.S. Beed and 1/5th of U.S. Pork

The U.S. infrastructure seems to be under attack. After the U.S. oil supply was hit with a cyberattack in early May, now our food supply has been hit with one as well.

JBS USA is the world’s largest meat producer and produces about one quarter of U.S. beef and one-fifth of our pork. About 22,500 cattle per day can no longer be handled due to five beef plants being shut down due to the attack.

The total number of world-wide plants shut down is unknown, but according to a trade group. at least one plant in Canada and one in Australia were also offline.

The 5 American Beef Giants

Cyberattack on beef
Source: Tyson Foods, Cattle Buyers Weekly, Bloomberg

North American and Australian JBS USA computer systems were suspended on Sunday, May 31st. JBS would not go into full details on the attack, but said it was organized and that delays will occur for certain customer and supplier transactions.

In its Daily Livestock Report, Steiner Consulting said, “Retailers and beef processors are coming from a long weekend and need to catch up with orders, and if they suddenly get a call saying that product may not deliver tomorrow or this week, it will create very significant challenges in keeping plants in operation and the retail case stocked up.”

Ransomware Attack and Prices

Just like the cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline on the East Coast, the impact on prices will be determined by the amount of time the plants are shut down.

Michael Nepveux, an economist with the American Farm Bureau Federation said in an interview, “How long it goes on will impact to what level consumers start to see something at the grocery stores.”

White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Tuesday that Biden had directed the administration to do what they can to limit the impact on the U.S. meat supply.

U.S. Senator John Thune of South Dakota told reporters, “Attacks like this one highlight the vulnerabilities in our nation’s food supply chain security, and they underscore the importance of diversifying the nation’s meat processing capacity.”

Food prices are already on the incline and this cyberattack will likely add to the already mounting pressure on a Joe Biden economy.

JBS USA ended up closing plants in Utah, Texas, Wisconsin and Nebraska on Tuesday, June 1st. On top of these, Chicken and other pork plants were restricting operations and a few completely closed owned by Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. Many of these updates were put out on companies’ Facebook pages.

Backup Systems and Servers Not Affected

JBS USA noted that their backup server and other system functions were not affected by the cyberattack. This does, however, spell out the major security issues with our infrastructure.

We will have to see if the Biden administration does indeed help out like they say they will, unlike what happened (or at least what we were told happened) with the Colonial Pipeline attack.

Exports will also be affected by this. Matt Dalgleish, manager of commodity markets insights at Thomas Elder Markets said that, “Given the size of JBS globally, if they were offline for any more than a week, then we’re going to see disruption to supply chains for sure,” he said.

Yet more supply line disruptions.

Keep it here for the latest on this and other news stories.

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