JBS USA Holdings Inc. has paid a ransom of $11 million in bitcoin to cybercriminals as new details emerged on the recovery of assets from a previous robbery by the FBI.
The payment, estimated to exceed 300 BTC at current prices, was made to protect the JBS factories from further disruption. The firm is the world’s largest meat company in terms of sales and processing of beef, poultry and pork from Australia to South America and Europe.
Andre Nogueira, chief executive of the US division of the Brazilian meat company, said the payment was painful and the payment was made after most of JBS’s plants were up and running again to ensure there were no further attacks. According to wall street journal, the FBI last week blamed REvil for the attack on JBS, a criminal cybercrime group with ties to Russia.
The latest high-profile bitcoin ransom payment will undoubtedly add to the pressure on legislators to act. Earlier today Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren calls for stricter regulation It added that cryptocurrency “creates opportunities to defraud investors, aid criminals, and worsen the climate crisis”. Regarding the recent ransomware attacks, he said:
“Every hack that is successfully paid for with cryptocurrency becomes an advertisement for more hackers to try more cyberattacks,”
The attack on JBS, which was traced to 30 May, was part of a Wave of intrusions using ransomware It also targeted Colonial Pipeline, the operator of a pipeline bringing gasoline to parts of the US East Coast.
As reported by Cointelegraph, FBI managed to recover 63.7 BTC From the 75 BTC ransom paid by the firm to another Russian-linked hacker group called Darkside.
At the time, the crypto community questioned the methods used by the federal agency to gain access to the private keys for the target addresses. Some even suggested that Coinbase was involved in the seizure but Company officials denied any connection.
According to crypto asset insurance company Evertas, Darkside was already on the law enforcement radar and had themselves confirmed that they had lost control of their infrastructure, including the ability to withdraw crypto funds.
It notes that according to Affidavit, the private key to the subject’s address was held by the FBI in the Northern District of California, not the actual funds.
Evertas analyzed The transfers, using a combination of open-source tools and subscription-based blockchain analytics, show that the hacker group split the ransom across three addresses in early May.
The analysis shows that Darkside controlled a number of addresses with a total of 114 BTC as of mid-May. On June 7, 63.7 BTC were confiscated from one address and Evertas believes the FBI may have controlled the rest:
Evertus suspects that the FBI may now control the remaining approximately 114 BTC and the hackers may be working to tie up other payments made to Darkside by other victims of Ras. [Ransomware as a Service] prior to the official forfeiture of the remaining funds. “
The revelation may sound positive, but analysts at data analytics firm GlobalData believe the cryptocurrency has become far less secure as the seizure paves the way toward fiat-currency-style controls. Danyal Rashid, thematic analyst at GlobalData, said:
“Bitcoin was supposed to free us from government control: decentralized and out of the hands of the government. The fact that the US government managed to recover the majority of this ransom, despite being paid in bitcoin, is directly against it. .