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WASHINGTON: JBS, one of the world’s biggest meat processors, has paid bitcoin worth $11 million in ransom to hackers to prevent any further disruption after a paralyzing cyberattack believed to have originated in Russia.

This was the second multi-million-dollar payment to hackers in recent weeks, drawing attention to the broader threat posed by ransomware to essential infrastructure, services and businesses.

Hackers had targeted the computer systems of Brazil-based JBS last week, impacting operations in the United States, Australia and Canada. The company’s US subsidiary said Wednesday it had paid the equivalent of $11 million in ransom.

“This was a very difficult decision to make for our company and for me personally,” said Andre Nogueira, CEO of JBS USA.

“However, we felt this decision had to be made to prevent any potential risk for our customers.”

The company said it made the payment “to mitigate any unforeseen issues related to the attack and ensure no data was exfiltrated.”

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