National Security

FBI Blames Russian Hackers For JBS Meat Supplier Hack

(Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images)

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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A notorious Russian hacker group is behind the cyber attack on the world’s largest meat supplier, officials stated Wednesday.

The group REvil, also known as Sodinokibi, is responsible for the ransomware attack on the JBS meat supply company, the FBI said in a statement. JBS announced May 31 that its servers were breached, and it was forced to temporarily shut down meat-packing plants in the United States, Canada and Australia.

REvil is known for previously targeting Madonna, Lady Gaga, Apple and former President Donald Trump. It engages in ransomware attacks, in which hackers lock up a victim’s computer files. Hackers then require victims to pay large sums of money in exchange for releasing the files.

Other recent victims of ransomware attacks include the Massachusetts Steamship Authority and the Colonial Pipeline. The Colonial Pipeline was hacked by the Eastern European group “DarkSide,” while the group behind the Massachusetts Steamship Authority hack is not yet known. (RELATED: Colonial Pipeline CEO Reveals Why He Paid Millions To Eastern European Hackers)

President Joe Biden will discuss the hacks with Russian President Vladimir Putin when they meet June 16, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday.

“We’re not taking options off of the table” in response to the hackings, Psaki said. “There will be an opportunity for the president to discuss this directly with President Putin to reiterate the fact that we believe responsible states do not harbor ransomware criminals.”

JBS produces one-fourth of the United States’ beef and one-fifth of the country’s pork, according to The Wall Street Journal. The hack and temporary shutdown of meatpacking plants could cause meat prices to rise further, industry experts have said.