Major meat manufacturer JBS has disclosed that it paid approximately $11 million to ransomware attackers to avoid additional disruption to its business.
JBS Attacked By Russian Group REvil
The business was hacked in May and was compelled to closed down a number of its operations in Australia, Canada, and the US. The attack has been attributed to a Russian-linked ransomware group known as REvil.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the payment was made to REvil, who left no trace of how they managed to infiltrate the firm’s computer networks.
JBS shown in a statement that the forensic investigation performed by the firm showed that no supplier, customer, or employee data was compromised in the attack. It said that it only chose to cover to keep its documents secure.
“At the time of payment, the vast majority of the company’s facilities were operational,” the firm stated 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.”
CEO Andre Nogueira, additionally confirmed the company’s decision to pay, saying that it had been necessary to prevent any possible risk to their clients.
However, JBS ransom payment goes against the US government’s guidance stating that ransomware victims should not pay their attackers.
Ransomware Attacks Getting Worse In The US
Ransomware attacks have dramatically increased across the US in the previous couple of decades. According to a report by Check Point Research, ransomware attacks more than doubled this year compared with the beginning of 2020.
Last month, Colonial Pipeline was hacked with a Russian hacker group called DarkSide and reportedly paid $4.4 million in ransom. The business was forced to shut down which created fuel shortages in the Southeastern states.
Another ransomware attack occurred later in precisely the same month against CNA Financial. CNA, among the nation’s biggest insurance companies, supposedly paid $40 million in Bitcoin to revive access to its system.
Colonial Pipeline doesn’t regret paying the ransom regardless of the US government’ position on it. US Representative Carolyn Maloney formerly stated that paying ransom sets a dangerous precedent which shouldn’t be encouraged.
In his first statutory hearing because the assault, CEO of Colonial Joseph Blout told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that paying the ransom was the right thing to do.
Meanwhile, the Joe Biden Administration has been the alarm about the problem, which is now a national security issue causing tensions between the US and Russia.
President Joe Biden intends to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin next week to go over hacking attacks, according to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.