Hackers and other cybercriminals are using ransomware attacks to steal money from governments and major companies around the world. The biggest meat processing company in the world, JBS, has said that it paid Russian-speaking hackers millions in bitcoin to resolve a major cyber attack on its systems.
The firm said that it decided to pay up after consulting with internal IT professionals and cybersecurity experts. CEO of JBS USA, Andre Nogueira, is quoted in an official company statement:
“This was a very difficult decision to make for our company and for me personally. However, we felt this decision had to be made to prevent any potential risk for our customers.”
According to the FBI, JBS has been victimized by ‘specialized and sophisticated cybercriminal groups in the world.’ The statement also alleges that the firm spends more than $200 million on IT yearly, contributing to restoring its operations quickly.
Continuous communications with various government officials were going on throughout this infamous incident. Currently, third-party investigations are continuing with no conclusions made for now, according to the company’s representatives. The company wrote:
“Preliminary investigation results confirm that no company, customer, or employee data was compromised.”
The subsidiary of Brazilian firm JBS SA suspended operations in the United States slaughtering plants for a day after the attack. This move threatens to disrupt the North American food supply chains and eventually increase food prices.
Reuters says that sources familiar with this issue mention that the JBS hack was conducted by Russia-linked cyber gang Revil. The gang also goes by the name Sodinokibi.
In April 2021, CyberNews published research where a team member tried to infiltrate the same gang. He managed to reveal the cash-out schemes, payout structure, and target acquisition strategies.
This ransomware group advertised online, alleging that the successful candidate would get nearly 80% of any paid ransom. Criminals may prove that they have $1 million worth of bitcoin in one of their digital wallets.
The JBS cyber attack followed another massive hack where a group that has ties to Russia disrupted Colonial Pipeline. This pipeline is the biggest in the US, and the hack affected the fuel delivery system in most of the US Southwest. Though the pipeline company paid a ransom of around $4.4 million to these hackers, the FBI and other authorities have managed to recover $2.3 million of that ransom.
Some days later, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation also confirmed that the Darkside ransomware gang victimized the critical infrastructure operator.