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US food giant pays ransom to hackers

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JBS paid ransom to hackers.

Meatpacking giant JBS Foods paid an $11 million ransom to hackers following last month’s cyberattack.

JBS’ chief executive, Andre Nogueira said he made the payment to protect the company from any further attacks.

“This was a very difficult decision to make for our company and for me personally.”

The cyberattack forced JBS to close some plants and left experts concerned about the global food distribution network.

The FBI said Russian organisations, REvil and Sodinokibi were behind the attack. Officials said they “are working diligently to bring the threat actors to justice”.

White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre, said the US Government are working with their Russian counterparts.

“The White House is engaging directly with the Russian government on this matter and delivering the message that responsible states do not harbour ransomware criminals,” she said.

At the time of the ransom payment to the hackers, JBS’ facilities were operational. But Mr Nogueira said the company wants to mitigate other issues and ensure no data leaks.

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

Investigations are still ongoing into the attack. However, the FBI described REvil and Sodinokibi as one of the most specialised and sophisticated cybercriminal groups in the world.

JBS Foods spends over $200 million on IT systems, including 850 IT professionals globally. It follows the operators of the Colonial Pipeline paying a $4.4 million ransom to hackers last month to regain control of their technical operations.

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Business

Jaguar Land Rover is developing a hydrogen-powered car

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Jaguar Land Rover will develop a new hydrogen-powered prototype of its iconic Defender SUV

The prototype program, known as Project Zeus, is part of JLR’s larger aim to only produce zero-tailpipe emissions vehicles by 2036.

Hydrogen only emits water making it ideal for larger vehicles with longer driving ranges, according to the car-maker.

It follows the company working towards cutting its tail-pipe emissions to zero by 2036.

The venture will be partly funded by the UK Government and will begin testing by the end of this year.

The UK plans to ban car sales that run entirely on combustion engines from 2030.

JLR has also made a commitment to have zero carbon emissions across its supply chain, products, and operations by 2039.

The automaker has also tapped AVL, Delta Motorsport, Marelli Automotive Systems, and the UK Battery Industrialization Center to help develop the prototype.

The testing program is designed to help engineers understand how a hydrogen powertrain can be developed that would meet the performance and capability (like towing and off-roading) standards that Land Rover customers expect.

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Emirates posts biggest loss in three decades

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Emirates has recorded its biggest yearly loss in three decades.

In a tweet the Emirates group announced it lost $6 billion USD for the 2020/2021 past year.

The airline blamed the worldwide travel restrictions as the main driver of the slump.

The group’s revenue was $9.7billion USD, a decline of 66 percent over last years results.

Emirates revealed their current cash balance is now at $5.4 billion USD which is down 23 percent from last year mainly due to the weak demand in air travel caused by multiple pandemic-related lockdowns.

Emirates also confirmed in a statement that they did receive a capital injection of $3.1 billion USD from the Dubai Government who is the ultimate shareholder of the Middle Eastern Carrier.

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Business

Way of the future: The Flying Taxi

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Instead of booking an Uber to an airport how about a flying taxi to get to your flight on time?

Virgin Atlantic is the latest company to explore whether it could launch a flying taxi service.

The airline suggests electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles could fly between towns and major airports.

Several companies have promoted the idea of “flying taxis” that could pick passengers up from rooftops in city centres and take them to a variety of locations but Virgin Atlantic’s suggestion is slightly sleeker.

The proposed craft will carry four passengers and a pilot up to 100 miles as well as being emission-free and quieter than a traditional helicopter.

What is the idea?

Several companies have promoted the idea of autonomous “flying taxis” that could pick passengers up from rooftops in the city and then take them to the main transport hub such as an airport.

Virgin Atlantic’s suggestion is slightly tamer.

It has proposed that an eVTOL aircraft could pick people up from a city such as Cambridge and fly them to a major airport such as Heathrow Airport in London.

Vertical Aerospace says its VA-X4 craft will be able to carry four passengers and a pilot up to 100 miles, as well as being emissions-free and quieter than a helicopter.

The company claims it will be “near silent” when cruising.

It has already partnered with American Airlines to bring out these new taxi’s as well as Avolon, an aircraft-leasing company.

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