Impact of COVID-19 on Agriculture

JBS Hit by Cyberattack, Impact is Uncertain

News / Newsline June 1, 2021

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JBS, one of the world’s largest meatpackers, was hit by a cyberattack. Chad Smith says the impact on the beef supply chain is unknown.

Smith: One of the world’s largest meatpackers recently announced it had been hit by a cyber-attack. JBS announced Sunday some of the servers supporting its North American and Australian IT systems were targeted. Scott Bennett, director of congressional relations with the American Farm Bureau Federation says the company responded immediately.

Bennett: The company took immediate action, suspending all of the affected systems, notifying authorities, and activating the company's global network of IT professionals and third-party experts to resolve the situation. The company's backup servers were not affected, and it is actively working with an incident-response firm to restore its systems, as soon as possible.

Smith: Bennett says the meatpacking industry could experience disruptions.

Bennett: The company is not aware of any evidence at this time that any customer, supplier, or employee data has been compromised or misused as a result of this situation. The company does state that a resolution of the incident will take time, which may delay certain transactions with customers and suppliers. 

Smith: Bennett says the situation may affect the supply of beef products domestically and internationally.

Bennett: It is concerning whenever we see disruptions in our food supply chain. Certainly, the COVID 19 pandemic showed us that last year. We hope the JBS can get up and running as soon as possible. This event has certainly shined a light on how vulnerable even agriculture can be to cybersecurity threats.

Smith: Chad Smith, Washington.

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