The world’s largest meat processing company says it paid the equivalent of $ 11 million to hackers who entered its computer system at the end of last month.
Brazilian company JBS SA said on May 31 that it had been the victim of a ransomware attack, but on Wednesday it was the first time that the company’s American division confirmed that it had paid the ransom.
“It was a very difficult decision for our company and for me personally,” said Andre Nogueira, CEO of JBS USA. “However, we felt that this decision must be made to avoid any potential risk to our customers.”
JBS said the vast majority of its facilities were up and running at the time of the payment, but decided to pay to avoid unforeseen problems and ensure data filtering.
The FBI has blamed the attack on REville, a Russian-speaking gang that has seen some of the biggest demands for ransomware in recent months. The FBI said it would work to bring the group to justice and called on anyone who was the victim of a cyber attack to contact the office immediately.
The attack targeted servers supporting JBS operations in North America and Australia. Production was interrupted for several days.
Earlier this week, the Department of Justice announced that it had recovered most of the million-dollar ransom pay from Colonial Pipeline, the country’s largest fuel pipeline operator.
Colonial paid a ransom of 75 bitcoins __ and then in early May $ 4.4 million __ to a group of Russian hackers. The cryptocurrency seizure operation reflected a rare victory in the fight against ransomware as US officials struggled to face a ridiculously accelerating threat to critical industries around the world.
It was not immediately clear whether JBS had also paid the ransom in bitcoins.
JBS said it spends more than $ 200 million annually on IT and employs more than 850 IT professionals worldwide.
The company said the forensic investigation was still ongoing, but did not believe the data of the company, customers or employees would be compromised.