Ransomware Attack Hits US Shipyard

The shipyard that builds the US Navy’s Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ship and the Constellation-class guided-missile frigate has suffered a ransomware attack, delaying production across the shipyard. The Fincantieri Marinette Marine company has said that it has no evidence that employees’ personal information was affected, although this cyber security attack has disrupted computer systems at the defence shipbuilder. 

The company has acknowledged the incident in a statement to the local Wisconsin Green Bay Press-Gazette, but did not provide any details about the type of attack that occurred. 

The statement indicated the company's email server and some network operations remain off-line and that it is working with US federal agencies and partners to investigate the incident. Fincantieri Marine experienced the attack in the early morning hours of April 12, when large chunks of data on the shipyard’s network servers were rendered unusable by an unknown hacking group.

In a typical ransomware attack, attackers take the information on a server, encrypt it and set terms for a key that will unlock the data.

The attack targeted servers that held data used to feed instructions to the shipyard’s computer numerical control manufacturing machines, knocking them offline for several days. CNC-enabled machines are the backbone of modern manufacturing, taking specifications developed with design software and sending instructions to devices like welders, cutters, bending machines and other computer-controlled tools. It remains unclear if the attackers stole any critical defence data.

The disclosure of  attack comes a few days after a UK security agency warning of “state-aligned” Russian groups that might attack on critical national infrastructure.

Cyber attacks are an increasing threat and the defence industrial base is a critical target. Fortunately, more companies are refusing to hope the risk goes away and are more widely complying with government requests to disclose incidents and provide information.

Green Bay Press-Gazette:    USNI:     Infosecurity Magazine:     Clearance Jobs:    MSN:     Yahoo:  

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