JBS, the world’s largest meat supplier, has confirmed that it has paid the equivalent of $11 million to cybercriminals who temporarily halted its operations in a ransomware attack. The information was revealed in a statement published on Wednesday (9).
As the note, the company made the payment after most factories resumed activities last week. She chose to pay ransom for the hijacked data after consulting cybersecurity experts.
“This was a very difficult decision for our company to make. However, we felt that this was the right decision to avoid any potential risk to our customers,” said André Nogueira, CEO of JBS USA.
In late May, the food company was hit by a ransomware attack that shut down nine US factories and caused disruptions to facilities in other countries. According to the FBI, the Russian group REvil is the main suspect in the invasion.
As in other cases, cybercriminals blocked the company’s main servers and demanded a bitcoin ransom to return control. If the order was not granted, they would leak private corporate data onto the internet.
JBS revealed that experts are still investigating the source of the attack. At first, the confidential information of employees and customers was not compromised.
Increased Ransomware Attacks
Another recent case was the cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline pipeline, which caused a gas shortage on the US East Coast.
The American company paid about US$4.3 million in bitcoin to resume activities. Last week, $2.3 million in cryptocurrencies were recovered by the US government.
Over the past year, ransomware victims have paid at least $412 million to ransom data hijacked by hackers. According to Chainalysis, most of the affected companies do not reveal the payment amounts.