White House blames Russians for cyberattack on meat producer

JBS operation unit
JBS operation unit
Lucas MT via Shutterstock

JBS, the world’s largest meat processing company, has resumed most production after a weekend ransomware attack.

The company has not discussed whether it paid a ransom to hackers, but said it expected to resume production at all its plants on Thursday.

JBS notified the federal government the ransom demand came from the gang REvil, which is believed to operate in Russia.

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What can the president do? “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,” White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said.

The FBI is investigating the incident, and the administration is assessing the effects of the attack on the U.S. food supply.

JBS is the second-largest producer of beef, pork, and chicken in the U.S. If it were to shut down for even one day, the United States would lose almost a quarter of its beef-processing capacity, according to Trey Malone, an assistant professor of agriculture at Michigan State University.

This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2021, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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