World’s biggest meat supplier pays $11 million in ransom

JBS, the world’s biggest supplier of meat, was forced to pay $11 million to hackers who have breached its computer networks recently. 

The large sum of payment was first revealed by The Wall Street Journal, and according to the news outlet, a Russian-speaking hacker group, called “REvil” took responsibility for the incident. 

The group is known for “making a living” by hacking the computer networks of various organizations and demanding large ransoms in exchange for removing the encryption they put on their systems. 

The hacker group earns millions of dollars, often in the form of crypto payment, in this scheme, and their latest “earnings” came from their recent attack on JBS. 

According to Charles Carmakal, a chief tech officer of a cybersecurity firm: “Sometimes, you’ll see what I believe are really large demands, going up to 40, 50 million.” 

The hackers use the promise of a description program and the threat of leaking files to the public to force organizations to pay large sums of ransom. 

Another victim, another ransom

A similar incident happened in another company, this time, in Colonial Pipeline. The oil refinery company was attacked by another Russian-linked hacker group called “DarkSide,” and just like JBS, it was forced to pay a ransom. 

Joseph Blunt, Colonial Pipeline chief executive officer, said in a Senate hearing that in his opinion, paying the ransom was the right thing to do for the company.

Andre Nogueira, the CEO of JBS, has expressed his defense that echoes Blunt’s position in paying a ransom: He said: “We felt this decision had to be made to prevent any potential risk to our customer.” 

 

Image courtesy of Cointelegraph News/YouTube

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