The world’s largest meat processing company, JBS, paid the equivalent of $11m (€9.03m) in bitcoins to put an end to a ransomware attack which knocked some of its plants out of action.

“This was a very difficult decision to make for our company and for me personally,” CEO Andre Nogueira was quoted as saying in media reports. “However, we felt this decision had to be made to prevent any potential risk for our customers.”

Brazil-based JBS added it had been reached in consultation with the company’s internal 

IT professionals and third-party cyber security experts to “mitigate any unforeseen issues related to the attack and ensure no data was exfiltrated.”

At the time of payment the majority of JBS’s plants remained operational.

Preliminary investigation results confirm no company, customer or employee data was compromised, it added.

In response to the 30 May attack JBS shut down computer systems and temporarily laid off thousands of employees.

Operations in Australia and North America were worst affected, with the company halting cattle slaughtering at all of its US plants for a day. That disruption threatened food supplies and risked higher food prices.

But JBS quickly resolved the problem and announced all of its systems were again operational within days of the attack.


PrivSec Global

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Speakers include:

  • Joel Schwarz, Director, MBL Technologies
  • Claudio Cilli, Ph.D., Professor, University of Rome
  • Andrew Rigney, Director Of Cyber Security Operations, Netjets