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JBS says it paid $11 million to cybercriminals who took out its systems

The cyberattack has been attributed to the criminal group REvil

Photo (c) nicescene - Getty Images
JBS, the world’s largest meat supplier, said Wednesday that it paid $11 million in ransom in response to the cyberattack that recently shut down its North American and Australian operations.

In a statement, the company said the ransom payment was made after most of its plants had come back online. 

"This was a very difficult decision to make for our company and for me personally," said Andre Nogueira, CEO of JBS USA, in a statement. "However, we felt this decision had to be made to prevent any potential risk for our customers."

Earlier this month, the cyberattack forced JBS to shut down some of its computer networks after an organized attack by an unidentified hacker group. The government has since attributed the ransomware attack to REvil, a criminal group believed to be based in Russia or Eastern Europe.

“As the lead federal investigative agency fighting cyber threats, combating cybercrime is one of the FBI’s highest priorities,” the FBI said in a statement. “We have attributed the JBS attack to REvil and Sodinokibi and are working diligently to bring the threat actors to justice. A cyberattack on one is an attack on us all.”

No data compromised

In Wednesday’s statement, JBS said no data was leaked as a result of the attack. 

"Preliminary investigation results confirm that no company, customer or employee data was compromised," JBS said.

The JBS cyberattack was the latest in a string of ransomware attacks on operating systems. In May, the operators of the Colonial Pipeline paid roughly $4.4 million to the gain of hackers that broke into its consumer systems

“This decision was not made lightly,” but it was one that had to be made, a company spokesman said last month. “Tens of millions of Americans rely on Colonial – hospitals, emergency medical services, law enforcement agencies, fire departments, airports, truck drivers and the traveling public.”

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