JBS Holdings, the world’s largest meat supplier, paid an US$11mln Bitcoin ransom to hackers in order to avoid more disruption to its operations following a cyberattack earlier this month.
According to a Wall Street Journal report on Wednesday night, the Brazilian company made the payment in order to limit the impact of the attack on its customers, with its operations in Australia, Canada and the US temporarily shut down during the incident.
The company’s five largest plants are in the US, where one-fifth of meat production was affected during the attack, while some of its main customers include supermarkets and other large end-users like the McDonald’s burger patty supply network.
The ransomware attack, which originally began early last week, bears similarities to a similar event at US fuel company Colonial Pipeline, which ended up paying a US$4.4mln ransom after a cyberattack severely hampered its operations in the Eastern US and sparked fears of fuel shortages.
JBS may be hoping US authorities can retrieve all or part of the ransom payment after the FBI and the Department of Justice managed to recover around 63.7 Bitcoins, worth around US$2.3mln, from the Colonial Pipeline ransom payment earlier this week.
In mid-afternoon trading on Thursday, Bitcoin was up 7.6% over the last 24 hours at US$37,670.