Fabiana Batista and Michael Hirtzer, 10 June 2021
JBS USA said it paid $11 million in ransom to criminals responsible for the cyberattack that disrupted meat processing across North America and Australia, the latest high profile example of large corporations falling prey to extortion.
“This was a very difficult decision to make for our company and for me personally,” JBS USA Chief Executive Officer Andre Nogueira said in a statement. “However, we felt this decision had to be made to prevent any potential risk for our customers.”
The ransom payment was made in Bitcoin, according to a spokesperson for JBS Brazil.
“Private companies should not pay ransom,” a White House National Security Council spokesperson said Wednesday night, without mentioning JBS. “It encourages and enriches these malicious actors, continues the cycle of these attacks, and there is no guarantee companies get their data back.”
The spokesperson reiterated calls for more cooperation between the government and the private sector to deter ransomware attacks and for companies to “put in place the cybersecurity defenses to meet the threat.”