Expect panic-buying in the meat market to commence in short order. JBS Foods, the world’s largest beef supplier has been hit with a ransomware cyberattack, threatening the U.S. meat supply chain. JBS had its IT systems hacked on Sunday, the company said. The hack forced the company to take systems offline. It caused a work stoppage in both North America and Australia.

The White House has said that the ransomware attack was carried out by a Russia-based criminal organization. Washington is in contact with Moscow on the matter. This is akin to calling the wolves after the foxes raid the chicken coop.

U.S. law enforcement is leading the investigation on this latest attack, according to the Australian government. 

JBS, the world’s largest meat producer, was hacked over the weekend. (JBS)

Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told the media on Tuesday that due to the ransomware attack, JBS will receive U.S. government assistance.

Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts or erases data until the victim of the attack pays the hackers.

“The White House has offered assistance to JBS, and our team, and the Department of Agriculture, have spoken to their leadership several times in the last day,” Jean-Pierre said. “JBS notified the administration that the ransom demand came from a criminal organization, likely based in Russia. 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 officials, in at least six U.S. locations, notified workers not to come to work on Tuesday.

A String of Ransomware Attacks

This latest hack came less than a month after a similar attack by Russian cybercriminals shut down the Colonial Pipeline. Colonial’s pipeline, which runs from the deep South to New Jersey, was shut down for five days. This prompted panic buying, price gouging, and fuel shortages before Colonial caved and paid a ransom of about five million USD in Bitcoin.