Australia-based defence contractor Austal has been hit by a data breach and extortion attempts.

The company said that its Australian business has detected and responded to the breach of its data management systems by an unknown party.

Despite the data breach and extortion attempt, the company claims that no information related to national security has been compromised.

In a statement, the Australian Department of Defence has confirmed that only unclassified material of the company has been affected as a result of the cybersecurity incident with no record of classified or sensitive information or technology being stolen.

According to media reports, email addresses and mobile phone numbers of some staff members of Austal Australia, in addition to some unclassified ship design drawings, were accessed and stolen.

“Austal Australia’s information systems and technology team have restored the security and integrity of the company’s data systems.”

Following the theft, the attacker has even attempted to sell off some of the stolen materials on the internet, Austal said.

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In a statement, the company said: “Austal Australia’s Information Systems and Technology team have restored the security and integrity of the company’s data systems and have implemented, and continues to implement, additional security measures to prevent further breaches.

“A small number of stakeholders who were potentially directly impacted have been informed.”

The breach is currently being investigated by the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) and the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

The company noted that the breach will not impact Austal’s ongoing operations and the US business remains unaffected by this incident.