Russia-Linked Group REvil Responsible For JBS Cyberattack: FBI

June 3, 2021 Updated: June 3, 2021

A Russia-linked hacking group was behind the ransomware attack that has disrupted operations at JBS Foods, the world’s largest meat supplier, the FBI said on Wednesday.

“We have attributed the JBS attack to REvil and Sodinokibi and are working diligently to bring the threat actors to justice,” the FBI said in a statement. “We continue to focus our efforts on imposing risk and consequences and holding the responsible cyber actors accountable.”

A day earlier, the White House said that the attack, which disrupted meat production in North America and Australia, originated from a criminal organization that was assessed to likely be based in Russia.

REvil is also known as Sodinokibi. The prolific ransomware group earlier this year was behind an attack on an Apple Inc. supplier named Quanta Computer. It has previously marketed stolen data on cybercrime forums in Russian.

Following the attack on Quanta Computer, REvil sent extortion threats and demanded a payment of $50 million for the company to regain access to its systems.

Brazil-based JBS Foods has operations in 15 countries and customers in approximately 100 countries, according to the company’s website. Its plants are responsible for approximately 25 percent of America and Australia’s processing capacity.

The cyberattack on JBS Foods comes less than a month after Colonial Pipeline, a major fuel transporting system along the U.S. East Coast, was breached via a ransomware attack that FBI officials believe originated in Russia and Eastern Europe.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday that she expects President Joe Biden will discuss the incident with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the June 16 summit in Geneva.

“We’re not taking any options off the table in terms of how we may respond, but of course there’s an internal policy review process to consider that, we’re in direct touch with the Russians, as well, to convey our concerns about these reports,” Psaki said.

“President Biden certainly thinks that President Putin and the Russian government has a role to play in stopping and preventing these attacks.”

Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov has said that Moscow is ready to promptly consider Washington’s requests on the JBS cyberattack.

“It is quite clear that criminality and challenges in the cybersphere will be on the agenda one way or another,” Peskov said, referring to the June 16 summit.

In an update late Tuesday, JBS Foods said it had made “significant progress in resolving the cyberattack.”

Combating cybercrime is one of the FBI’s “highest priorities,” the bureau said in its statement.

“A cyber attack on one is an attack on us all,” the law enforcement agency added.

Reuters contributed to this report.