The world’s largest meat supplier, JBS Foods, has been significantly affected by a cyberattack, the company announced.
The hack caused some U.S. operations, along with some in Australia and Canada, to institute short-term shutdowns, which affected thousands of workers.
This attack is similar to the one last month on Colonial Pipeline in the Southeast U.S. in which Colonial paid a $4.4 million ransom.
In these ransomware attacks, hackers breach computer networks and hold companies hostage with threats to further damage its systems unless a ransom is paid.
The White House says the FBI is investigating the attack.
“JBS notified (the White House) that the ransom demand came from a criminal organization 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 harbor ransomware criminals.”
JBS said it suspended all affected IT systems.
“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 the situation,” JBS said in a statement. “Resolution of the incident will take time, which may delay certain transactions with customers and suppliers.”
The hack could cause meat supply problems and inflated prices.
Matt Dalgleish, manager of commodity markets insights at Thomas Elder Markets, said in a New York Post story that an extended shutdown could prove problematic.
“If it’s a short-term scenario, just a week or something that they’re offline, then it’s probably just a minimal hiccup,” Dalgleish said. But “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.”