Meat plants hit by cyberattack: Experts urging people not to panic buy

National

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The world’s largest meat supplier says its suffered a cyber attack that was leading to delays for some customers in North America.

JBS USA announced Monday that it was the victim of an organized cybersecurity attack, affecting s servers supporting its North American and Australian IT systems. 

While the company and Pilgrim’s said they’ve made significant progress in resolving the problem, people are worried it will lead to panic buying.

According to JBS, the attack may delay certain transactions with customers and suppliers, but the vast majority of their plants will be operational by Wednesday.

The company says it’s not aware of any compromised data, and they were still able to send shipments from nearly all of its facilities to supply customers Tuesday.

Staff Director for the Florida Center for Cyber Security Dr. Ron Sanders tells 8 On Your Side people don’t need to panic buy, like they did at the gas pumps in May.

Last month, Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency after a major U.S. fuel pipeline operator was the target of a cyberattack.

“Could there be price gauging and shortages yes, but I think that’s largely imagined, not real,” Sanders said. “If I was that mom and pop at home, I would not run out and buy meat, what I would do is take a look at my home cybersecurity measures. Am I on a private network, are my passwords protected, have I protected myself from data theft?”

Sanders says while we should all be concerned about cyber security, we also have to be more vigilant and resilient.

“If I were the mom and pop at home, I would worry more about general cyber hygiene than meat supply shortages,” Sanders added. “It’s not whether we’re going to be attacked, we know we will be. It’s whether we do everything we can to prevent it or mitigate it to the point where it doesn’t disrupt our daily lives.”

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