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Cyberattack hits meat processor, company pays ransom

June 30, 2021   by Global National

The world’s largest meat processing company says it paid the equivalent of US$11 million (about $13.3 million Cdn) to hackers who broke into its computer system in May.

Brazil-based JBS SA said on May 31 that it was the victim of a ransomware attack, but only recently was the first time the company’s U.S. division confirmed that it had paid the ransom.

“This was a very difficult decision to make for our company and for me personally,’” said Andre Nogueira, the CEO of JBS USA.

The attack targeted servers supporting JBS’s operations in North America and Australia. Production was disrupted for several days, including at the JBS Canada beef processing plant in Brooks, Alta., which employs more than 2,800 people.


JBS said the vast majority of its facilities were operational at the time it made the payment, but it decided to pay in order to avoid any unforeseen issues and ensure no data was exfiltrated.

The FBI has attributed the attack to REvil, a Russian-speaking gang that has made some of the largest ransomware demands on record in recent months.

Ransomware is a type of cyber-attack that infects your device, holding your information hostage until you pay a fee. Cybersecurity experts say a common way for hackers to penetrate security is to trick employees through emails or texts that allow disruptive software into corporate systems.

The FBI said it will work to bring the group to justice and it urged anyone who is the victim of a cyberattack to contact the bureau immediately.

(Global National)

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