Image: A military vessel built by Lürssen. Credit: Falk Arnhold via WikiMedia Commons

German builder of yachts and military vessels hit by ransomware attack

A German manufacturer of military vessels and luxury yachts reportedly suffered a ransomware attack over the Easter holiday.

The attack brought large parts of Bremen-based Lürssen’s shipyard operations to a standstill, according to local news outlet Buten un Binnen, which first reported the incident.

Lürssen did not respond to a request from The Record for additional information.

The company is a big name in the shipyard industry, producing the world’s largest superyachts, including Azzam, Blue and Dilbar. Among Lürssen’s yacht owners was the late former president of the United Arab Emirates, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov, and Ukrainian tycoon Rinat Akhmetov.

The company also builds ships for the German Navy and has a contract to design and build twelve offshore patrol vessels for Australia.

According to several German media outlets, Lürssen said it is collaborating with internal and external experts to manage the cyber incident. Buten un Binnen also reported that the German police have initiated a criminal investigation.

Lürssen employs nearly 1,600 people and owns five shipbuilding facilities across Germany.

Modern-day superyachts and their manufacturers are now facing a new breed of pirates — hackers. The advanced technology integrated into yachts, including navigation systems, electronic chart displays, and information systems, leaves them vulnerable to cyberattacks.

A lack of awareness or training can mean crew members are susceptible to phishing attacks and are less likely to recognize and report any security breaches, according to marine IT company OceanWeb.

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Daryna Antoniuk

Daryna Antoniuk

is a reporter for Recorded Future News based in Ukraine. She writes about cybersecurity startups, cyberattacks in Eastern Europe and the state of the cyberwar between Ukraine and Russia. She previously was a tech reporter for Forbes Ukraine. Her work has also been published at Sifted, The Kyiv Independent and The Kyiv Post.