JBS paid the equivalent of $11 million to hackers who broke into its computer system late last month. The ransom, reportedly in bitcoin, was paid after most of the company’s facilities had come back online, the world’s largest meat processing company said in a statement on Wednesday.
“This was a very difficult decision to make for our company and for me personally. However, we felt this decision had to be made to prevent any potential risk for our customers,” said Andre Nogueira, CEO, JBS USA.
The company said it made the decision to mitigate any unforeseen issues related to the attack and ensure no data was exfiltrated.
JBS said late last month that it was the target of an organized cybersecurity attack, affecting some of the servers supporting its North American and Australian IT systems. The attack on Brazil’s JBS had also affected livestock slaughter at its plants in several US states.
The U.S. government has attributed the ransomware attack to REvil, a criminal gang believed to be based in Russia or Eastern Europe.
JBS said Wednesday that third-party forensic investigations are still ongoing, and no final determinations have been made. Preliminary investigation results confirmed that no company, customer or employee data was compromised.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Justice Department announced it had recovered most of the multimillion-dollar ransom payment made by Colonial Pipeline, the operator of the nation’s largest fuel pipeline.
Colonial reportedly paid a ransom of 75 bitcoins- then valued at $4.4 million – in early May to a Russia-based hacker group.
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