Ransomware attack on US Navy shipbuilder leaked information on nearly 17,000 people


An April ransomware attack on a company that builds ships for the U.S. Navy exposed the information of nearly 17,000 people, according to documents filed this week with Maine regulators.

THE regulatory filing comes nearly nine months after several local Wisconsin media outlets reported that Fincantieri Marine Group — the U.S. arm of Italian shipbuilding company Fincantieri — was facing a ransomware attack that caused widespread production problems.

The company did not respond to requests for comment at the time but sent a statement to United States Naval Institute (USNI) and the Green Bay Press Gazette confirming having suffered a cybersecurity incident which caused “a temporary disruption of certain computer systems on its network”.

The company said at the time that its network security officials “immediately isolated the systems and reported the incident to relevant agencies and partners.”

“Fincantieri has mobilized additional resources to investigate the incident and restore full functionality to the affected systems as quickly as possible,” the company told media.

On January 5, the company sent breach notification letters explaining that on April 12, 2023, it “became aware of a cyberattack on its computer systems including the encryption of certain files.”

“FMG quickly took steps to secure its environment and opened an investigation into the nature and scale of the incident. The investigation determined that in connection with the incident, there was unauthorized access to certain systems in the FMG environment between April 6, 2023 and April 12, 2023 and, as a result, certain data stored on its systems were subject to unauthorized acquisition,” the letters said.

“FMG then undertook a full review of the affected data to confirm what information was affected. On November 6, 2023, FMG determined that personal information regarding Maine residents was contained in the records at issue. Personal information affected includes name and social security number.

The company told Maine regulators that 16,769 people had information leaked due to the ransomware attack. They offer victims two years of free credit monitoring services.

The USNI reported in April that the shipyard was building the Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ship and the Constellation-class guided-missile frigate. The Navy did not respond to requests for comment in April or Friday, but told USNI at the time that it was aware of the incident.

According to the USNI, the attack disrupted servers that transmitted information to manufacturing machines. For days, machines responsible for welding, cutting and more were shut down after the servers were taken offline.

The Green Bay Press Gazette reported that the shipyards in Marinette, Sturgeon Bay and Green Bay employ a total of about 2,300 people. The company did not respond to requests for comment on whether the 16,769 people affected included current and former employees.

Another Navy shipbuilder, Austal, has confirmed that it has faced a cyberattack in December after a ransomware gang took credit for the incident.

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Jonathan Greig

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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