JBS work resumes as Biden blames Russia for hack

JBS employees returned to U.S. meat plants on Wednesday, a day after the company's beef operations ground to a halt due to a ransomware attack believed to be perpetrated by a notorious hacking group based in Russia.

At the end of remarks related to his administration's vaccination efforts, President Joe Biden was asked if he planned to retaliate against Russia for the second supply chain disrupting attack in less than a month.

REPORTER: "Mr. President will you retaliate against Russia for this latest ransomware attack?"

BIDEN: "We're looking closely at that issue."

REPORTER: "Do you think Putin is testing you?"

BIDEN: "No."

Earlier, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said she expected Biden to discuss the spate of ransomware attacks with Russian President Vladimir Putin at their summit in Geneva on June 16.

PSAKI: "President Biden certainly thinks that President Putin and the Russian government has a role to play in stopping and preventing these attacks... Responsible states do not harbor ransomware criminals."

A source with direct knowledge of the latest ransomware attack told Reuters on Wednesday that the Russian cyber gang responsible goes by the name REvil, which attacked Apple supplier Quanta Computer earlier this year, demanding a ransom of $50 million for the company to regain access to its systems.

The ransomware attack on JBS, the world's largest meat producer, also follows one in May by another group with ties to Russia against Colonial Pipeline, the largest fuel pipeline in the United States, which said it paid a $4.4 million ransom to the hackers.

Officials said JBS plants were expected to return to full capacity in the next couple days, and the company said in a statement on Tuesday night that it had made "significant progress in resolving the cyberattack."

Video Transcript

- JBS employees returned to US meat plants on Wednesday, a day after the company's beef operations ground to a halt due to a ransomware attack, believed to be perpetrated by a notorious hacking group based in Russia. At the end of remarks related to his administration's vaccination efforts, President Joe Biden was asked if he planned to retaliate against Russia for the second supply chain disrupting attack in less than a month.

- Mr. President, would we retaliate against Russia for the state's ransomware attack?

JOE BIDEN: We're looking closely at that issue.

- Do you think Putin is testing you?

JOE BIDEN: No.

- Earlier, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said she expected Biden to discuss the spate of ransomware attacks with Russian President Vladimir Putin at their summit in Geneva on June 16th.

JEN PSAKI: President Biden certainly thinks that President Putin and the Russian government has a role to play in stopping and preventing these attacks. Responsible states do not harbor ransomware criminals.

- A source with direct knowledge of the latest ransomware attack told Reuters on Wednesday that the Russian cyber gang responsible goes by the name REvil, which attacked Apple supplier Quanta Computer earlier this year, demanding a ransom of $50 million for the company to regain access to its systems. The ransomware attack on JBS, the world's largest meat producer, also follows one in May by another group with ties to Russia against Colonial Pipeline, the largest fuel pipeline in the United States, which said it paid $4.4 million ransom to the hackers. Officials said JBS plants were expected to return to full capacity in the next couple of days. And the company said in a statement on Tuesday night that it had made, quote, "significant progress in resolving the cyber attack."