Meatpacker JBS Paid $ 11 Million Equivalent In Ransomware Attack, Says CEO

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Meatpacker JBS Paid $ 11 Million Equivalent In Ransomware Attack, Says CEO


NEW DELHI: meat packer JBS USA paid the equivalent of $ 11 million ransom in a cyber attack which discontinued operations in North America and Australia, the company’s chief executive said in a statement on Wednesday.
The subsidiary of the Brazilian firm JBS SA stopped slaughter of cattle at all of its U.S. plants for one day last week in response to the cyberattack, which threatened to disrupt food supply chains and further inflate already high food prices.
The cyberattack followed one last month on Colonial Pipeline, the largest fuel gas pipeline in the USA. It cut off fuel supplies for several days in the southeastern United States.
The JBS Meat plants, which produce nearly a quarter of America’s beef, recovered faster than some meat buyers and analysts expected.
“This was a very difficult decision to make for our company and for me personally,” Andre Nogueira, CEO of JBS USA, said of the ransom payment. “However, we feel that this decision should be made to prevent any potential risk to our clients.”
The US arm of the Brazilian meatpacking company and Pilgrims Pride Corp, a US chicken company majority-owned by JBS, lost less than a day of food production. JBS is the largest meat producer in the world.
The third parties are conducting forensic investigations and no final determinations have been made, JBS said. No company, customer or employee data was compromised in the attack, he said.
A group of hackers linked to Russia is behind the cyber attack on JBS, a source familiar with the matter said last week. The Russian-linked cyber gang goes by the names REvil and Sodinokibi, the source said.
The Wall Street daily reported Wednesday that the JBS ransom payment was made in bitcoin.
The Justice Department on Monday recovered about $ 2.3 million in cryptocurrency ransom paid by Colonial Pipeline Co, cracking down on the hackers who launched the attack.

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