The Australian and North American units of the world’s largest meat processing plants were affected over the weekend by a cyber-attack directed against their information systems. On Monday, May 31, operations had to be canceled, generating huge chaos in the meat industry production chain.

The Brazilian firm JBS SA announced the events in an official statement:

“On Sunday, May 30, JBS USA determined that it was the target of an organized cybersecurity attack, affecting some of the servers supporting its North American and Australian IT systems,” the statement reported by Reuters read.

The message also warned that “resolution of the incident will take time, which may delay certain transactions with customers and suppliers.”

JBS Australia chief executive Brent Eastwood reconfirmed the facts to the news website Beef Central. He confirmed that the company canceled the entire beef and lamb slaughter and caused the country’s complete shutdown on Monday, May 31.

Eastwood also reported that the company is still assessing the impact of the damage and the implications. There is still no evidence as to the motives that could have caused the attack.

Asked when processing operations would resume as normal in Australia, Eastwood said he could not speculate on that. The priority was to assess the impact and extent of the attack.

But he also lamented that processing operations would be impossible without normal access to IT systems and the Internet. The entire production chain, from the entry of the animals, the fattening process, slaughter, and subsequent marketing, is traversed by a complex IT system. In case of failure or supply of erroneous information, the implications can be catastrophic.

For its part, JBS USA said in a statement from Greeley, Colorado, on Monday that it was the target Sunday of an “organized cybersecurity attack” that affected some of its servers supporting its North American and Australian IT systems.

JBS employs more than 11,000 people worldwide, its U.S. employees had to return home today as operations were suspended until further notice.

The situation is inevitably reminiscent of what happened after the catastrophic cyber-attack caused by the Darkside criminal hacker group on the Colonial pipeline in early May, which paralyzed part of the U.S. energy industry, generating panic in the affected cities.

First energy, then food, it seems that the enemies of freedom and capitalism now understand that you can completely paralyze the system and generate chaos and panic, with just a group of people behind a monitor and without throwing a single missile.

What would happen if meat suppliers see their systems paralyzed for several days and their products stop reaching the market shelves? And if we add to that the paralysis of the energy system? The scenario would be apocalyptic.

War no longer necessarily manifests itself with missiles knocking down buildings or the military invading the border with weapons. A group of people behind a computer can easily generate widespread shortages, famine, and, consequently, absolute chaos. 

The United States had a strong wake-up call with the cyberattack against the oil pipeline, now they had a wake-up call again after the attacks on the meat industry, so it is time for the White House authorities to show how committed they are to the homeland and the safety of their citizens.