A cyber attack on the world’s largest meat processor, JBS Foods, has shut down information systems across the company’s 47 Australian facilities, causing logistical problems along the supply chain.
The multinational company, which also has meat processing facilities across Canada and the United States, confirmed in a statement the cyber attack began affecting its servers over the weekend.
As result of the attack, JBS Foods on Monday cancelled some operations across its abattoirs in Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania.
JBS Foods Australia chief executive officer Brent Eastwood told Beef Central that processing operations would be impossible without full access to IT and internet systems.
The disruption has already filtered back to JBS’s meat sales, lotfeeding operations, and JBS’s Primo Smallgoods business in Queensland.
JBS Foods does not believe any customer, supplier or employee data have been compromised or misused as a result of the cyber attack.
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“Resolution of the incident will take time, which may delay certain transactions with customers and suppliers,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
According to IBISWorld, JBS Foods Australia holds 21.6% of the Australian meat processing industry, a sector that generates $22.2 billion in revenue each year.
On Monday, federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said the government is working with JBS and law enforcement to resolve the cyber attack, which is causing a “significant disruption to the supply chain”.
“JBS is obviously taking the appropriate steps and working with the federal government around trying to rectify this,” Littleproud said.
“It’s a global attack and we’re working now with international partners around trying to trace and then rectify and obviously prosecute where possible, who has perpetrated this attack.”
While Littleproud acknowledged JBS Foods is losing “a lot of money” while its servers are down, he said employees and businesses across the entire supply chain will also be affected by the disruption.
JBS Foods, which employs more than 6,500 beef and sheep processors around Australia, has not confirmed who carried out the attack or what the cost of the shut down could be.