US shipbuilder Austal says cyber incident had ‘no impact on its operations’


A US Navy shipbuilder recently notified federal authorities of a cyber incident claimed by a ransomware group over the weekend.

The US arm of Austal – an Australia-based shipbuilding company and defense contractor specializing in defense and commercial vessels – said it alerted the FBI and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) of a data incident.

“We were able to quickly mitigate the incident, without any impact to operations,” Larry Ryder, vice president of business development at Austal, told Recorded Future News. He added that federal agencies “remain involved in the investigation into the cause of the situation and the extent of the information that was accessed” and that the company is trying to “fully understand this incident” to prevent it from happening. reproduces itself.

“No personal or classified information was accessed or taken by the threat actor… Austal USA recognizes the seriousness of this event and the special responsibility we have as a DoD (Department of Defense) contractor and of DHS (Department of Homeland Security).”

The company has built hundreds of ships for the Australian, Omani and US navies, as well as commercial companies around the world. He reported more than $1.5 billion in revenue for fiscal 2023 and has more than 5,000 employees.

Saturday, the Hunters International ransomware gang added Austal to his list of victims.

The U.S. Navy did not respond to requests for comment.

Austal is not the first naval contractor hit by ransomware this year. In April, Fincantieri Marinette Marine fell victim to a ransomware attack that delayed production at the Wisconsin shipyard, where it builds US Navy combat ships.

The United States Naval Institute reported that the shipyard’s network was taken down on April 12 by ransomware actors, and the Navy said it was monitoring the company’s recovery efforts.

Two weeks ago, the Navy released its long-awaited cyber strategypart of which included efforts to better secure the sprawling defense industrial base.

Pakistan Navy was also targeted by hackers in a campaign identified earlier this year, with around 1,000 ships affected by another ransomware attack against a major ship software supplier in January.

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Jonathan Greig is a breaking news reporter at Recorded Future News. Jonathan has worked as a journalist around the world since 2014. Before returning to New York, he worked for media outlets in South Africa, Jordan and Cambodia. He previously covered cybersecurity at ZDNet and TechRepublic.

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