Brazilian based company JBS SA is dealing with a ransomware attack affecting both US and Australian systems, delaying the pricing of meats Monday morning. There is concern for price stability as meat processors and producers are still dealing with the effects of Covid-19 on prices and availability beginning in 2020. The US government publicly stated that the USDA and FBI are assisting with the investigation and blamed the ransomware on a criminal group that is “likely based in Russia,” even going so far as to contact the Russian government to request law enforcement action against the criminal group. This ransomware attack raises supply chain concerns as nearly 25% of meat production comes from this one company. The cybersecurity risk ratings company Bitsight claims that 70% of food production companies surveyed are at increased risks of disruption due to antiquated and poor cybersecurity practices.
The second attack highlighting the effectiveness of targeted attacks on critical supply chain comes with a similar warning as Colonial Pipeline shutting down. Attackers can disrupt critical supplies of goods and services to the population including food production. JBS reported that “Almost every aspect of the company’s operations rely on its computer systems to some extent, including the ability of workers to clock into their shifts.” which rings true to companies across the board. A strong posture protecting data and operations heavily mitigates risk from ransomware and data-theft. Side by side with the experts in the Security Operations Center, Binary Defense’s Counter-Intelligence and Threat Hunting teams take the next step applying a proactive approach targeting, identifying, and mitigating vulnerability before they are exploited.