ELLIJAY, Ga. – Gilmer’s local chicken plant, a Pilgrim’s processing facility, shut down this week in light of “communications systems” within the facility. Pilgrim’s is owned by JBS USA, the target of the recent major cyberattack.
JBS S.A. is a Brazilian multinational company, acknowledged as one of the worldwide food industry leaders. Headquartered in Sao Paulo, the Company is present in 15 countries.
The local branch of the company informed employees late Sunday afternoon May 30, 2021, that they would be cancelling shifts at the plant. Sunday is when JBS USA says it was targeted by an “organized cybersecurity attack”
The facility stayed closed until informing employees that the company would resume at their normal scheduled shifts on “Tuesday night and Wednesday morning” according to the company’s public statements.
According to the Associated Press, “The FBI attributed the attack on Brazil-based meat processor JBS SA to REvil, a Russian-speaking gang that has made some of the largest ransomware demands on record in recent months.
Locally, Pilgrim’s has recovered and reopened faster than most in the parent company according to public statements that they expected to return by Thursday and be running close to full capacity. However, this statement was speaking to its entire global operations.
JBS USA said in a public statement that it utilized the company’s own global network of IT professionals and third-party experts to recover from the attack which may have helped Ellijay’s facility return to operations after only two days of shut down.
JBS USA stated, “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.”
In a separate statement released on June 2, 2021, Andre Nogueira, JBS USA CEO, stated, “JBS USA and Pilgrim’s continue to make significant progress in restoring our IT systems and returning to business as usual. Today, the vast majority of our facilities resumed operations as we forecast yesterday, including all of our pork, poultry and prepared foods facilities around the world and the majority of our beef facilities in the U.S. and Australia.”