JBS USA said it paid $11 million for ransom to the hackers responsible for the cyberattack that disrupted operations across North America and Australia.
This was a very difficult choice to make personally for our company and for JBS USA, Chief Executive Andre Nogueira said in a statement. However, we felt this decision had to be made to prevent any potential risk for our customers.
The attack on May 30 forced the world's largest meat producer to stop all of its American beef plants in the U.S., accounting for almost a quarter of American supplies. It also ceased slaughter operations throughout Canada and idled one of Australia's largest beef plants. The FBI had linked the incident with REvil, a hacking group that researchers say has links to Russia.
The global shutdowns revived agricultural markets and raised concerns over food security as hackers increasingly target critical infrastructure. Operations have been restored to normal levels and the company expects lost production to be fully recovered by the end of this week.
In its latest statement, JBS said the vast majority of the company's facilities were operational at the time of payment. It made the decision to ensure that no unforeseen issues related to the attack were defiled and ensure no data was exposed in consultation with internal IT professionals and third-party cybersecurity experts.
JBS added that it has maintained constant contact with government officials throughout the incident, and that forensic investigations are still ongoing.
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