The world’s biggest meat producer and owner of Pilgrim’s Pride, JBS, confirmed in a statement on Wednesday the company paid the equivalent of $11 million in ransom in response to a cyber hack targeting its operations and causing it to shut down production at US and Canadian meat plants.
The FBI described the cybercriminal group that carried out the attack as “one of the most specialised and sophisticated” in the world.
Most of its operations have been restored following the attack, but the Brazilian-headquartered company said due to the sophistication of the attack it hoped the payment would head off any further complications including data theft.
“This was a very difficult decision to make for our company and for me personally,” said JBS’s chief executive, Andre Nogueira. “However, we felt this decision had to be made to prevent any potential risk for our customers.”