Owner Of Minnesota Meat Plant Admits Paying Huge Ransom
Worthington, MN (KROC AM News) - The owner of a large Minnesota meat processing facility has publicly admitted it paid a huge ransom to cyber hackers who were able to access its system.
And the decision to pay was made even though most of its facilities were functioning normally.
The ransomware attack occurred on May 30th and led to an $11-million payment to the hackers.
Although its plants were affected, JBS says its swift response limited damage to less than one days’ worth of production.
JBS operates a pork processing plant in Worthington that employs around 2,000 workers.
JBS USA released this statement Wednesday:
JBS USA today confirmed it paid the equivalent of $11 million in ransom in response to the criminal hack against its operations. At the time of payment, the vast majority of the company’s facilities were operational. In consultation with internal IT professionals and third-party cybersecurity experts, the company made the decision to mitigate any unforeseen issues related to the attack and ensure no data was exfiltrated.
“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.”
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 spends more than $200 million annually on IT and employs more than 850 IT professionals globally.
JBS USA has maintained constant communications with government officials throughout the incident. Third-party forensic investigations are still ongoing, and no final determinations have been made. Preliminary investigation results confirm that no company, customer or employee data was compromised. “
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