Home Security Extortion bid after shipbuilder Austal hacked
Extortion bid after shipbuilder Austal hacked Pixabay Featured

Global shipbuilder Austal's data management systems in Australia were hacked recently and an extortion bid made by the attacker, the company said in a notice to the ASX on Thursday.

The company builds patrol vessels and frigates for the Australian Navy and has designed and built more than 300 vessels for more than 100 operators in 54 countries.

The breach was limited to the company's Australian operations, the company said, adding that it had referred the matter to the Australian Cyber Security Centre and the Australian Federal Police.

It said the attacker had threatened to sell some of the stolen data online, and sought a ransom to avoid doing so. Austal said it would not respond to such extortion attempts.

A small number of stakeholders who were potentially directly affected by the hack had been informed, the company said.

It indicated that ship design drawings, which were distributed to customers and fabrication sub-contractors, had been stolen, but said such material was neither sensitive nor classified.

"No company wants to lose control of its information, but there is no evidence to date to suggest that information affecting national security or the commercial operations of the company have been stolen," the company said.

The email addresses and mobile numbers of some staff had been accessed and these individuals had been informed, Austal said.

The Australian Defence Department said in a statement that no compromise of classified or sensitive information or technology had been identified thus far.

"This incident reinforces the serious nature of the cyber security threat faced by defence industry, and the need for industry partners to put in place, and maintain, strong cyber defences," the department added.

"Defence and the ACSC have provided cyber security assistance to Austal and are working with Austal to assess and mitigate harm."

Commenting on the incident, Daniel Lai, the chief executive of security firm archTIS, said: "The event highlights that both organised crime and state actors are targeting high value targets throughout their supply chain.

"If this can happen to Austal, a company that has significant resources to protect itself from cyber attack, then what about its sub-contractors and suppliers."

He said there was a need for a more co-ordinated response from industry, defence and government.

FREE SEMINAR

Site24x7 Seminars

Deliver Better User Experience in Today's Era of Digital Transformation

Some IT problems are better solved from the cloud

Join us as we discuss how DevOps in combination with AIOps can assure a seamless user experience, and assist you in monitoring all your individual IT components—including your websites, services, network infrastructure, and private or public clouds—from a single, cloud-based dashboard.

Sydney 7th May 2019

Melbourne 09 May 2019

Don’t miss out! Register Today!

REGISTER HERE!

LEARN HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF A CYBER ATTACK

Australia is a cyber espionage hot spot.

As we automate, script and move to the cloud, more and more businesses are reliant on infrastructure that has the high potential to be exposed to risk.

It only takes one awry email to expose an accounts’ payable process, and for cyber attackers to cost a business thousands of dollars.

In the free white paper ‘6 Steps to Improve your Business Cyber Security’ you’ll learn some simple steps you should be taking to prevent devastating and malicious cyber attacks from destroying your business.

Cyber security can no longer be ignored, in this white paper you’ll learn:

· How does business security get breached?
· What can it cost to get it wrong?
· 6 actionable tips

DOWNLOAD NOW!

Sam Varghese

website statistics

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the sitecame into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

 

Popular News

 

Telecommunications

 

Guest Opinion

 

Sponsored News

 

 

 

 

Connect