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Utah meatpacking plant shut down after JBS hit by ransomware attack

CDC investigates JBS meat plant in hyrum (1).PNG
Workers at the JBS meatpacking plant in Hyrum, Utah were impacted on Tuesday as the company shut down it and other facilities across the country after a cyber attack. (File photo: KUTV)

Workers at the JBS meatpacking plant in Hyrum, Utah were impacted on Tuesday as the company shut down it and other facilities across the country after a cyber attack.

A union representing meatpacking and food processing workers across North America, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, said it represents more than 1,200 frontline workers in Utah. The UFCW called on JBS to quickly resolve the breach and urged the company to ensure all its workers get paid during the plant shutdowns.

The cyberattack, which the White House said came "from a criminal organization likely based in Russia," has raised concerns about potential impacts on the nation's food supply. JBS Foods says it is one of the world's largest food companies.

The meatpacking workers union said it was pleased JBS is "working around the clock to resolve this."

“UFCW is calling on JBS to work with state and federal leaders to help get JBS meatpacking workers back on the job as soon as possible so these essential workers can continue to keep our country’s food supply fully operational and secure as this pandemic continues," said UFCW president Marc Perrone in a prepared statement.

The attack is impacting production in North America and Australia, JBS said in a press release on Tuesday. JBS reached out to the White House to inform them of the ransomware attack and is working with international governments to restore production as soon as possible, it said.

“JBS USA and Pilgrim's are a critical part of the food supply chain and we recognize our responsibility to our team members, producers and consumers to resume operations as soon as possible,” said Andre Nogueira, JBS USA CEO.

Given the progress made by IT professionals in the past 24 hours, Nogueira said "the vast majority of our beef, pork, poultry and prepared foods plants will be operational (Wednesday)."

"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 said.

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