JBS admits to paying $11 million in Bitcoin to hackers

After suffering a ransomware attack over Memorial Day weekend, JBS has admitted to paying the hackers $11 million in Bitcoin

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN)- The major meat producer, JBS–which fell victim to a ransomware attack over Memorial day weekend–paid $11 million in Bitcoin to the hackers, according to the company.

“This was a very difficult decision to make for our company and for me personally,” JBS USA CEO Andre Nogueira said in a statement. “However, we felt this decision had to be made to prevent any potential risk for our customers.”

BACKGROUND: Cyberattack targets JBS beef plants impacting Nebraska operations

The company said the ransom was paid to “mitigate any unforeseen issues related to the attack and ensure no data was exfiltrated.”

The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency says that ransomware is a type of malware that shuts down a company’s computer infrastructure with hackers demanding payment to unlock the system.

Earlier, the FBI blamed the infiltration on Russia-based hackers. JBS isn’t the first company to have recently paid off Russian cybercriminals.

According to JBS, the company was in constant contact with federal officials, and while investigations are ongoing, “preliminary investigation results confirm that no company, customer or employee data was compromised.”

JBS said it spends $200 million annually on IT services.

RELATED:Local farmers to discuss strengthening cybersecurity after JBS cyberattack

Last month, another major company, Colonial Pipeline, was also struck by a ransomware attack and has since admitted paying $4.4 million in Bitcoin to hackers from the group Darkside.

“We needed to do everything in our power to restart the system quickly and safely,” the company said in a statement at the time. “The decision was made to pay the ransom. This decision was not made lightly, however, one that had to be made.”

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