Cyberattack “blinds” the US meat industry

Jun, 02, 2021 Posted by Ruth Hollard

Week 202124

On Tuesday, June 1st, the price of beef in the United States was a mystery. A cyberattack on the  North American and Australian operations of JBS, the world’s largest meat producer, paralyzed meatpackers in the US and prevented the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) from reporting wholesale prices for beef and pork, on which agricultural markets depend daily.

The agency held back the reports citing “packer shipping problems”, as these could reveal information about JBS’s competitors. Large-scale plant closures often drive up meat prices. In the United States, the company occupies the first position in beef production and is the vice-leader in pork and chicken. “With JBS temporarily down, I think wholesale pork prices would go up a lot,” said Dan Norcini, an independent pork trader in Idaho.

The cyberattack took place last weekend and targeted servers at JBS USA, responsible for the company’s operations in North America and Australia.

Source: Valor Econômico

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