The world’s largest meat processor said on Wednesday that it was paying a $ 11 million ransom to the hackers behind a cyber attack that last week forced the closure of all U.S. beef plants in the United States and disrupted operations at poultry and pork plants. .
The company, JBS, said in a statement that the decision to pay the ransom was taken to protect its data and protect against the risk to its customers. The company said most of its facilities were up and running again when the payment was made.
The FBI said last week that it believed REvil, a Russian group that is one of the most prolific organizations, was responsible for the attack.
JBS, based in Brazil, processes about one-fifth of American beef. The news last week of the cyber attack on a producer who is so central to the US meat supply has caused concern that the shutdown could shock the market, which could create shortages and accelerate the rise in the already high meat prices. However, the fear was largely unrealized, as JBS was able to resume operations quickly.
The breach was the latest in a series of critical infrastructure attacks that have raised concerns about the vulnerability of U.S. businesses. Last month, a ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline, a major artery transporting gasoline to nearly half of the East Coast, caused a shortage of fuel and jet fuel, causing fuel purchases in several states .
The Wall Street Journal was first to report news of JBS’s ransom payment.