empty supermarket shelves

Large supermarkets ‘particularly vulnerable’ to rising Russian cyberattacks

Australia’s food supply is particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks, warns the director of a national cybersecurity firm, as he calls on the industry to raise its standards on the anniversary of the JBS ransomware hack .

JBS Foods, the world’s largest meat processor, was ransomed by Russian-based hackers for $11 million last year.

The cyberattack halted the company’s global operations for five days, including several Australian slaughterhouses.

Claroty’s Australian regional manager Lani Refiti said the entire Australian food and drink supply chain was “particularly vulnerable” to further attacks.

“It happens,” Mr. Refiti said.

“It’s not a question of ‘if’ a major attack will occur in Australia’s food and drink sector, it’s a question of ‘when’.”

He said there would be food shortages if there was another incident like JBS.

Laws were passed months after the JBS hack to list food and drink as a critical national industry.

They have led to the introduction of mandatory cyber incident reporting and strengthened cybersecurity obligations for assets of national importance.

But Mr Refiti said major supermarkets, distributors and food processors were still much less safe than other industries.

“If you look at critical infrastructure like financial services, electricity, water, food and drink are at the bottom of the list,” he said.

Hacking threat backed by Russia

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