Cheese Prices Crumble After Cyberattack Hits Top Wisconsin Dairy Producer
A cyber attack disrupted dairy distribution in Wisconsin late last month, resulting in a big plunge in cheese prices.
A spokesman for one of the state’s largest milk processors, Schreiber Foods, told local newspaper, Wisconsin Farmer, that a five days “cyber event” halted operations as hackers demanded a rumored $2.5 million in ransom.
The ransomware attack began on Saturday (Oct. 23) and limited the company from buying 500-pound barrels of cheese, which are turned into slices and sold at supermarkets.
In a recent statement, the company said, “we had a systems issue that impacted our plants and distribution centers. It did impact our ability to receive raw materials, ship product and produce product. We’ve made good progress in resolving the issue and our plants and distribution centers have begun to start up again.”
The five-day ordeal triggered spot prices for cheese barrels traded in Chicago to plunge 19% in the last week or so.
The cyberattack on the dairy processor comes as hackers have targeted food supply chains. JBS SA, the world’s largest meat producer, was hit with a ransomware attack by hacker group REvil in June.
Compound cyberattacks with supply chain woes, including port congestion, higher transportation costs, labor woes, and soaring commodity prices, it’s never been harder to be in the food industry.