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The JBS meat placing plant in Plainwell, Michigan. Photo: Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images

The FBI said Wednesday that the Russia-linked REvil ransomware group was responsible for the cyberattack that forced major meat supplier JBS to shut down its beef plants across the United States.

What they're saying: "We have attributed the JBS attack to REvil and Sodinokibi and are working diligently to bring the threat actors to justice," the FBI said in a statement. "We continue to focus our efforts on imposing risk and consequences and holding the responsible cyber actors accountable."

The big picture: JBS said Tuesday that a "vast majority" of its plants will be operational starting Wednesday.

  • The attack has raised fears of meat supply or pricing issues, similar to what happened to gas prices and availability after the ransomware attack against Colonial Pipeline last month.

The White House said Wednesday that President Biden "launched a rapid strategic review to address the increased threat of ransomware."

  • “We do expect this to be one of the issues that the President will discuss with [Russian] President Putin at the summit” this month, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.
  • “President Biden certainly thinks that President Putin and the Russian government has a role to play in stopping and preventing these attacks,” she added.

Go deeper

JBS to bring most plants online after ransomware attack

The JBS beef plant in Brooks, Alberta, Canada, on June 1. Photo: Alex Ramadan/Bloomberg via Getty Images

JBS SA told Bloomberg Tuesday that a "vast majority" of its plants will be operational Wednesday after a ransomware attack forced all of the company's beef plants in the U.S. to shut down.

Why it matters: The attack has raised fears of meat supply or pricing issues, similar to what happened to gas prices and availability after the ransomware attack against Colonial Pipeline last month.

Updated Jun 1, 2021 - Technology

Top meat supplier is the latest victim of a cyberattack

Photo: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Major meat supplier JBS USA was the latest victim of an organized cybersecurity attack, with servers in North America and Australia impacted, the company said Sunday.

Why it matters: JBS USA is the largest producer of beef in the country, The Hill notes, and is a major supplier of poultry and pork. JBS’s five biggest beef plants — which collectively manage a total of 22,500 cattle per day — have paused processing after the weekend attack, according to JBS. The hack has led to one-fifth of U.S. beef production being wiped out, Bloomberg reports.

Ransomware business achieves critical mass

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Memorial Day weekend ransomware attack that left the world's largest meat processor hobbled also had CEOs around the globe asking, "Am I next?"

Why it matters: The attack on Brazil-based JBS came just weeks after a similar attack on Colonial Pipeline, the U.S.'s largest refined-fuel pipeline operator. Attacks that disrupt food and energy supplies are the kinds that rouse governments to strike back.