JBS USA has shelled out an $11 million ransom on the heels of a hack last week that temporarily took down plants that process about 20% of the country’s meat supply, according to the company’s chief executive.

JBS, which paid the cyber attackers in bitcoin cryptocurrency, made the ransom payment in order to protect its meat plants from additional disruption and to check the possible impact on restaurants, groceries and farmers that depend on JBS, chief executive of Brazilian meat company JBS SA’s U.S. division Andre Nogueira said, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“It was very painful to pay the criminals, but we did the right thing for our customers,” Nogueira told the outlet, adding that the ransom was paid after most of the plants were operational again. 

“In consultation with internal IT professionals and third-party cybersecurity experts, the company made the decision to mitigate any unforeseen issues related to the attack and ensure no data was exfiltrated,” the business said in a press release.

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