US Navy Ship Builder Says No Classified Info Leaked in Cyberattack

Austal USA, a military contractor, alerts law enforcement it quickly mitigated a recent cyberattack on its systems and that an investigation is ongoing.

Dark Reading Staff, Dark Reading

December 6, 2023

1 Min Read
Austal boat on the water
Source: Clarence Holmes Photography via Alamy Stock Photo

The US leg of an Australia-based shipbuilding company, Austal, which is a contractor for the US Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security, recently alerted the FBI and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) of a cyberattack.

The cyberattack was claimed by the Hunters International ransomware group, which leaked allegedly stolen information as proof of what it says is a data breach on its website on the Dark Web. 

Larry Ryder, vice president of business development and external affairs stated in an emailed statement that Austal was able to mitigate what it refers to as an "incident," and that there was no impact to operations. The company is "investigating the cause of the situation and the extent of information that was accessed," he said, and confirmed that no personal or classified information was taken by the threat actors.

The ransomware and extortion group, which has more than a dozen victims from various areas of the world across a variety of sectors, claims to have, and has threatened to release, more data purportedly stolen from Austal, such as financial details, engineering data, and compliance documents, among other files.

"Austal USA recognizes the seriousness of this event and the special responsibility we have as a DoD and DHS contractor," an Austal USA spokesperson stated. "Our assessment is ongoing as we seek to fully understand this incident, so that we can prevent a similar occurrence."

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Dark Reading Staff

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