Food processing company JBS USA paid $11 million in cryptocurrency to the hackers who go ransomware installed on the companies IT systems, creating havoc at the company and threatening meat distribution around the United States.
In a statement, the company acknowledged that some processing plants were shut down after the ransomware was discovered, but that most of its plants were still operational. The ransom payment, the company said, was a preventive act to ensure continued operations.
“This was a very difficult decision to make for our company and for me personally,” said Andre Nogueira, CEO, JBS USA. “However, we felt this decision had to be made to prevent any potential risk for our customers.”
JBS USA, an American subsidiary of a Brazilian corporation, said it was working with the FBI to try to track the payment and identify the hackers.
“The FBI stated this is one of the most specialized and sophisticated cybercriminal groups in the world. JBS USA’s ability to quickly resolve the issues resulting from the attack was due to its cybersecurity protocols, redundant systems and encrypted backup servers,” the company said in a statement. “The company spends more than $200 million annually on IT and employs more than 850 IT professionals globally.”