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Photo: Chet Strange/Getty Images

JBS USA on Thursday announced it had paid hackers "the equivalent of $11 million in ransom" to resolve a cyberattack that forced the meat company to shut down.

State of play: The payment was made in bitcoin, per the Wall Street Journal. The company said it made the decision to pay the ransom after consulting with "internal IT professionals and third-party cybersecurity experts."

  • JBS USA CEO Andre Nogueira said the payment had been made after most JBS plants were up and running again, the Journal reports.
  • The FBI have said they believe that the Russia-linked REvil ransomware group was behind the attack.

What they're saying: "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," Nogueira said in a statement.

The big picture: The FBI has urged companies and organizations targeted by hackers to avoid paying ransoms, noting that there's no guarantee it will end the cyberattack, per Bloomberg.

  • Earlier this week, the Justice Department said U.S. investigators recovered $2.3 million worth of cryptocurrency paid as a ransom to the cybercrime group responsible for the attack that shut down Colonial Pipeline last month.

Go deeper

Colonial Pipeline CEO tells Congress paying ransom was "the right choice"

Colonial Pipeline CEO Joseph Blount defended his decision Tuesday to pay the hackers that launched a ransomware attack against the crucial fuel line, telling a Senate panel it was "the right choice" and that he put "the interests of the country first."

Why it matters: Federal investigators for years have recommended that companies do not pay hacking groups to decrypt their computer systems over fears that the transactions would encourage more groups to conduct future attacks.

49 mins ago - World

Putin denies Russia is behind cyberattacks ahead of Biden summit

In an exclusive interview with NBC's "Today," Russian President Vladimir Putin denied that Russia is waging cyber warfare against the United States and refused to guarantee opposition leader Alexei Navalny — whose name he would not say — will leave prison alive.

Why it matters: Cyberattacks by Russian intelligence and Russian-speaking criminal groups, as well as the Kremlin's attempted assassination and jailing of Navalny, are among the topics President Biden is expected to raise at his Geneva summit with Putin on Wednesday.

2 hours ago - Health

Novavax says COVID-19 vaccine was 90% effective in Phase 3 trial

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Novavax, a Maryland biotechnology company, announced Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine was 90.4% effective in its Phase 3 trial, including against coronavirus variants.

Why it matters: The study of 29,960 participants in the U.S. and Mexico found the shot was safe and highly effective, paving the way for the FDA to clear a 4th vaccine for emergency use by the end of the year.