JBS, the largest beef supplier in the world, paid the ransomware hackers who breached its computer networks about $11 million, the company said Wednesday.
The company was hacked in May by REvil, one of a number of Russian-speaking hacker gangs, leading to meat plants across the U.S. and Australia shutting down for at least a day. News of the payment was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
Like many ransomware groups, REvil has made millions in recent years by hacking organizations, encrypting their files and demanding a fee, often a large bitcoin payment, in exchange for a decryptor program and a promise not to leak those files to the public.
In a statement, JBS indicated that while it was able to get most of its systems operational without REvil’s help, it chose to pay to keep its files safe.
“At the time of payment, the vast majority of the company’s facilities were operational,” the company said in an emailed statement, adding that it “made the decision to mitigate any unforeseen issues related to the attack and ensure no data was exfiltrated.”
Charles Carmakal, the CTO of the cybersecurity firm Mandiant, said that while such a price might seem high, it’s not unusual …read more