Firm forced to pay $11M in Bitcoin to ransomware hackers


TL;DR Breakdown

  • JBS Holding pays ransom to regain control of their system from hackers
  • Ransomware hacks becomes a growing concern for U.S
  • Biden government takes measure

American beef firm and the world’s largest meat producer, JBS Holdings, have paid $11 million in Bitcoin to ransomware hackers of its plant.

Reportedly, they made the payment to avoid further ransomware attacks on their plants, despite a recent report that the FBI, alongside the Justice Department, retrieved several million paid in ransom to the hacker that hit the colonial pipeline.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the American beef firm hackers share similarities with the Colonial Pipeline hackers too suspected to be the REvil group from Russia.

They left no traces regarding how they were gained access to systems of the American beef firm and carried out their operation until their demands were met.

JBS said that based on the analysis they conducted, no customer, supplier or employee data was compromised in the attack.

Andre Nogueira, CEO of JBS SA’s U.S. division, said hence they made payment to cushion the impact the attack placed on business procedures and JBS partners, including restaurants, grocery stores, and farmers.

Ransomware hack a growing concern for the U.S.

The growth in ransomware attacks in the U.S. has become a growing concern, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. The spate of these attacks in the U.S. in the past few months has also drawn authorities’ attention.

The Joe Biden government recently announced plans to begin tracking crypto transactions to reduce the spate of these jack attacks. Kia Motors America, Colonial Pipeline, Steamship Authority, and now JBS holdings all have been hit recently in quick succession, explaining why the Biden government may be right on their quest to track crypto transactions.

When the Biden government said it was going to begin tracking crypto transactions, Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who made the announcement, outlined “rapid strategic review” consisting of four lines of effort and said, “combating ransomware is a priority for the administration.”

It would amount to real success if the FBI could retrieve back the ransom paid by the American beef firm to the ransomware hackers just like they did in the case of colonial pipeline hack. Although the FBI failed to reel out how they managed to get the money back, it means there’s been a breakthrough in tracing crypto transactions by the U.S. government as they previously announced.

Also, JBS said it has alerted the FBI on the ransomware hack, and ransom payment as the firm also started shutting down their system to stop any more attack.

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