Brazilian meat processor JBS paid hackers $11 million (9 million euros) after a breach that shut down the company’s systems. JBS announced this in a statement. Because of regulations in the United States, the slaughterhouses of the world’s largest meat processor have been closed in North America and Australia, among others.
JBS has been exposed to so-called ransomware, also known as ransomware. This allows hackers to encrypt systems remotely. After paying the ransom, hackers release the systems again. It is possible that a group of Russian cybercriminals was behind the hack.
According to JBS, most systems were up and running again when the ransom was paid. So the decision to put up the amount was difficult, JBS says in a statement: “We felt we had to make this decision in order to eliminate risks for our clients.” The company spends $200 million annually on information technology, JBS assures.
A few weeks ago, the company that owns Colonial Pipeline, the largest oil pipeline in the United States, was attacked by ransomware. That company paid out about $5 million in bitcoin. The FBI recovered some of that money.
Bitcoins are saved to a file Pocket wallet, a digital wallet, and the FBI gained access to a wallet worth $2.3 million. Exactly how this happened is unknown, but it is rare for the ransomware to be tracked.
The meat processor did not disclose whether JBS also paid with bitcoin. According to the Wall Street Journal, cryptocurrency was used for payment.