JBS, the world’s largest supplier of meat, paid $11 million in Bitcoin to ransomware hackers, The Wall Street Journal reported:
JBS USA Holdings Inc. paid an $11 million ransom to cybercriminals who last week temporarily knocked out plants that process roughly one-fifth of the nation’s meat supply, the company’s chief executive said.
The ransom payment, in bitcoin, was made to shield JBS meat plants from further disruption and to limit the potential impact on restaurants, grocery stores and farmers that rely on JBS, said Andre Nogueira, chief executive of Brazilian meat company JBS SA’s U.S. division.
“It was very painful to pay the criminals, but we did the right thing for our customers,” Mr. Nogueira said Wednesday in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. He added that the payment was made after the majority of JBS plants were up and running again.
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JBS was hit with a ransomware attack two Sundays ago, threatening US meat supply.
One-fifth of US beef production was wiped out after JBS paused processing at five of its biggest beef plants which manage a total of 22,500 cattle per day.
The cyberattack on JBS comes just weeks after ransomware hackers shut down the Colonial Pipeline, creating gas lines and shortages.
The Justice Department on Monday announced it seized most of the $4.3 million in Bitcoin (75 BTC) ransom Colonial Pipeline paid to hackers.
Last Wednesday the FBI said Russian-linked “REvil and Sodinokibi” were behind the JBS hack:
As the lead federal investigative agency fighting cyber threats, combating cybercrime is one of the FBI’s highest priorities. We have attributed the JBS attack to REvil and Sodinokibi and are working diligently to bring the threat actors to justice. We continue to focus our efforts on imposing risk and consequences and holding the responsible cyber actors accountable. Our private sector partnerships are essential to responding quickly when a cyber intrusion occurs and providing support to victims affected by our cyber adversaries. A cyber attack on one is an attack on us all. We encourage any entity that is the victim of a cyber attack to immediately notify the FBI through one of our 56 field offices.