Meat firm JBS USA paid $US11m in Russia-linked hackers in ransomware attack
The world’s largest meat processing company says it paid an $US11 million ($A14 million) ransom in a cyberattack that disrupted much of its North American and Australian operations.
JBS USA, a subsidiary of Brazilian firm JBS SA, cancelled shifts at its US and Canadian meat plants last week, after the cyberattack that threatened to disrupt food supply chains and inflate food prices.
“This was a very difficult decision to make for our company and for me personally,” said Andre Nogueira, the CEO of JBS USA.
“However, we felt this decision had to be made to prevent any potential risk for our customers.”
The Brazilian meatpacker’s arm in the United States and Pilgrims Pride Corp, a US chicken company mostly owned by JBS, lost less than one day’s worth of food production.
Third parties are carrying out forensic investigations and no final determinations have been made, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
No company, customer or employee data was compromised in the attack, it said.
A Russia-linked hacking group is behind the cyberattack against JBS, a source familiar with the matter said last week.
The Russia-linked cyber gang goes by the name REvil and Sodinokibi, the source said.
The cyberattack followed one last month by a group with ties to Russia on Colonial Pipeline, the largest fuel pipeline in the United States, which disrupted fuel delivery for several days in the US Southeast.
FBI director Christopher Wray said last week that the agency was investigating about 100 different types of ransomware, many of which trace back to people living in Russia.
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