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Comment from Webroot: Meat giant JBS pays $11m in ransom to resolve cyber-attack

June 2021 by Matt Aldridge, Principal Solutions Architect, Webroot

As you’re aware, Meat giant JBS has paid $11m in ransom to resolve cyber-attack. The payment has reportedly made using Bitcoin after plants had come back online. JBS says it was necessary to pay to protect customers. So - we wondered if you would be covering this story and interested in a comment from Matt Aldridge, Principal Solutions Architect, Webroot, on the JBS ransomware payment, focusing mainly on the potential long-term implications of companies paying ransoms and whether this is a tactic they should or shouldn’t employ in the event of a cyber-attack – Please fee below.

Matt Aldridge, Principal Solutions Architect, Webroot explain:

“Although JBS claims that there is no evidence that any customer, supplier or employee data has been compromised or misused, it seems very unlikely that a sophisticated ransomware gang would not have exfiltrated key data prior to exposing themselves with the demand.

A ransom as large as this is likely to have been paid to stop the release of highly sensitive data that is already in the hands of the criminals. This begs the question as to why JBS would pay such a huge ransom if the data was not in the hands of the criminals. It could even be the case that the criminals had secured such a strong foothold within the JBS network that JBS knew that if they didn’t pay, much worse things could happen to them.

At this point this is purely speculation and in time we will likely hear more details explaining the position that JBS found themselves in. It should however be noted once criminals have your data, no amount of money paid can guarantee that it has truly been securely deleted and that it is not in the hands of any other third parties or archived for potential later use.”

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