BY Anna Cummins on 12 Apr 2023

Large parts of the German boatbuilder's operations are at a standstill

Lürssen shipyard

Lürssen, the German shipbuilder that makes military vessels and luxury superyachts, has been targeted by a ransomware cyberattack, according to multiple reports.

Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents the victim from accessing their device and the data stored on it, usually by encrypting files. The attacker then demands payment, or a ransom, to return access to the files. A ransomware attacker may also threaten to release private, valuable or sensitive information into the public realm if the ransom is not paid. 

The firm, which is based in the city of Bremen in northwest Germany, was attacked over the Easter holiday period, according to a local news outlet called Buten un Binnen

Lürssen operates five shipyards – three in Bremen, one in Hamburg and another in Rendsburg, and employs around 1,500 people. The group has constructed many of the world’s biggest and most impressive superyachts, including 156-metre Dilbar, known as the largest superyacht by volume, and the 115m superyacht Ahpo, which went on the market for €330m last year.

Several Lürssen yachts have been linked to Russians sanctioned since Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022. The 142m Lürssen yacht Nord, which has been linked to sanctioned Russian billionaire Alexei Mordashov, arrived into Hong Kong unexpectedly last year. 

On Tuesday, company spokesman Oliver Grün told Bloomberg: “In coordination with internal and external experts, we immediately initiated all necessary protective measures and informed the responsible authorities.”

Buten un Binnen reports large parts of Lürssen’s shipyard operations are at a standstill as a result of the cyberattack. Police are currently looking into the case.