JBS, the world’s largest meat processing company, has been targeted by a cyber-attack that disrupted meat production in North America and Australia, in the latest case of the hack against big companies.
In a statement, JBS said the ransomware attack affected some of its servers supporting its North American and Australian IT systems.
“The company took immediate action, suspending all affected systems, notifying authorities and activating the company’s global network of IT professionals and third-party experts to resolve the situation,” the company said in its statement. “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.”
The company believes the ransomware attack originated from a criminal group likely based in Russia, the White House said, adding that the FBI is investigating the attack.
“JBS notified [the White House] that the ransom demand came from a criminal organisation likely based in Russia,” White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said on Tuesday. “The White House is engaging directly with the Russian government on this matter and delivering the message that responsible states do not harbour ransomware criminals,” she added.
The Kremlin responded to the allegations by saying that it had no information about who might be behind the attack but would respond to any official request for assistance promptly. “I do not know anything about this,” Dmitry Peskov, president Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson, told reporters.
The attack on JBS is the latest evidence that companies and governments should be better prepared for cyber-attacks on intellectual property and infrastructure.
Last week, Microsoft announced that Nobelium, a skilled hacking group associated with the Russian SVR and behind the SolarWinds attack last year, was engaged in phishing attacks targeting thousands of accounts at hundreds of government and human rights agencies.
However, the tech giant downplayed the attacks, saying: “Based on what we currently know, the security community should feel good about the collective work done to limit the damage done by this wave of attacks. As we have notified our targeted customers and watched closely for other reports, we are not seeing evidence of any significant number of compromised organizations at this time.”