• By The Financial District

Cyberattack Hits Firm Producing 75% Of Cheese For U.S. Burgers

Beef burgers may have gotten more expensive in recent weeks, but the cheese on top may have actually gotten cheaper.

Photo Insert: While the price of beef went up, the hack caused that of the cheese on top to go down.

That's due in part to a cyberattack against one of the largest dairy processors in the US, Wisconsin-based Schreiber Foods, which had its operations interrupted by a "cyber event" on October 23, Dominick Reuter reported for Insider.

The alleged hackers reportedly demanded a $2.5 million ransom to unlock the computer systems that control the flow of milk and cheese through the company's facilities, according to the Wisconsin State Farmer.

A Schreiber Foods spokesperson confirmed to Insider that a cyber incident affected all of its locations, a "specialized response team" immediately got to work on the issue, and that the company had fully resumed production and shipping five days after the initial interruption.

Schreiber Foods produces a wide array of dairy products, including cheeses, yogurts, and sour cream, but reportedly maintains a roughly 75% market share for the sort of bulk yellow cheese that is commonly used to top sandwiches and hamburgers.

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One indication of the company's reach is the commodity price of barrel cheese, the 500-pound units of intermediately processed cheese that are sold for further processing into slices, powders, sauces, and other products.

A dairy industry analyst said the five-day disruption at Schreiber led to such a backlog of barrel cheese that it is the likely cause of a price-drop that has reached as much as 20% in the weeks following the attack as the delayed product softened the market.

Business: Business men in suite and tie in a work meeting in the office located in the financial district.

US Department of Agriculture data show the barrel cheese price tumbling from a 2021 peak of $1.85 for the week ending October 22 to $1.46 on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021.

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