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Ransomware attack compromises US subsidiary of Australian shipbuilder Austal | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware


In a recent cyber-attack, the Hunters International cybercrime gang targeted Austal USA, the American subsidiary of the Australian shipbuilding firm Austal, known for its contracts with the US Navy, according to a report by Australian Cybersecurity Magazine.

This information was revealed in the daily attack update from HackNotice, a threat intelligence provider, on December 3, 2023.

Austal USA, based in Mobile, Alabama, is involved in sensitive naval projects, including the Littoral combat ship program and the Virginia class nuclear-powered submarine building program.

The company is also making strides in the autonomous boat-building sector.

However, the current attack’s timing is critical, as Austal’s US arm, a key revenue generator for the parent company, is presently on sale.

Hunters International, now replacing the defunct Hive ransomware group, operates as a Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) group and has threatened to release 43 sample files containing 87.2MB of data, according to their dark web site.

Significant implications

The attack on Austal USA holds significant implications, especially given the company’s prior experience with a ransomware attack five years ago.

In that incident, no sensitive information was reportedly stolen.

The leak of sensitive data could have substantial consequences for both Austal and the US Navy.

The attack highlights the importance of stringent cybersecurity measures, especially in sectors involving national security.

The US Department of Defense’s Federal Acquisition Regulations System requires contractors to report any cyberattacks within 72 hours, underlining the critical nature of these threats.

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