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Major meat producer JBS USA hit by cyberattack

One of the largest meat suppliers in the country was hit on Sunday by a cyberattack that impacted operations, with the attack coming just weeks after Colonial Pipeline was forced to temporarily shut down operations due to a similar attack.

Meat producing group JBS USA said in a statement released Sunday that it had been the “target of an organized cybersecurity attack” that had affected servers in North America and Australia.

JBS USA said it notified authorities of the attack, suspended all impacted systems and was working with an “Incident Response firm” to respond to the attack, stressing that its backup servers were not affected.

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“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 wrote in a statement. “Resolution of the incident will take time, which may delay certain transactions with customers and suppliers.”

The company did not comment on who may be behind the cyberattack.

JBS USA, which is primarily based in Colorado, is the largest producer of beef in the nation and one of the largest producers of poultry and pork. It is part of JBS Foods, which has locations in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Canada and other parts of Europe. 

The attack on the company comes as cyber threats have ramped up over the past year and follows a series of major attacks on federal agencies and other organizations.

Earlier this month, Colonial Pipeline, which supplies around 45 percent of the East Coast’s fuel supply, was forced to shut down operations after its IT systems were compromised by a ransomware attack. 

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While the company was able to get operations up and running within a week after paying a ransom of the equivalent of $4.4 million in Bitcoin, gas shortages were seen in several states for days. President BidenJoe BidenObama: Ensuring democracy 'continues to work effectively' keeps me 'up at night' New Jersey landlords prohibited from asking potential tenants about criminal records Overnight Defense: Pentagon pulling some air defense assets from Middle East | Dems introduce resolution apologizing to LGBT community for discrimination | White House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine MORE confirmed earlier this month that the criminal group behind the attack is based in Russia, though not backed by the Russian government. 

Cyber threats were underlined further last week, when Microsoft announced that it had assessed that the Russian hacking group behind the SolarWinds attack had also attempted to target more than a hundred organizations with malicious phishing emails. 

The U.S. intelligence community assessed earlier this year that Russia was responsible for the SolarWinds attack, which compromised nine federal agencies and more than 100 private sector groups. Biden levied sweeping sanctions on the country as a result of the attack in April.