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SCOTT Morrison says there is no “100 per cent foolproof guarantee” of preventing cyber attacks, after Defence shipbuilder Austal’s business was hit with a data breach and extortion attempt.

Some staff email addresses and mobile phone numbers were accessed in the breach. The attacker tried to sell certain materials on the internet and engage in extortion.

“I think it’s a reminded of why it has been so important to continue to invest so strongly in Australia’s cyber security,” the Prime Minister told reporters in Sydney.

“It’s a constant reminder of the need for vigilance.”

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has highlighted the need to be vigilant against cyber attacks. Picture: AAP/Dan Himbrechts

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has highlighted the need to be vigilant against cyber attacks. Picture: AAP/Dan HimbrechtsSource:AAP

Austal said the company does not intend to respond to such threats.

“There is no evidence to date to suggest that information affecting national security nor the commercial operations of the company have been stolen,” Austal said.

The federal government has been alerted to the cyber security incident.

The Australian Cyber Security Centre and Australian Federal Police are providing the company with assistance and advice.

As investigations continue, the Department of Defence says no compromise of classified or sensitive information or technology has been identified so far.

“This incident reinforces the serious nature of the cyber security threat faced by defence industry, and the need for industry partners to put in place, and maintain, strong cyber defences,” the government said.

Austal's HSSV-72.

Austal’s HSSV-72.Source:Supplied

“Defence and the ACSC have provided cyber security assistance to Austal and are working with Austal to assess and mitigate harm.”

Austal makes defence vessels for several markets, including the United States.

The company said its US business was unaffected by the breach.

However a small number of stakeholders potentially impacted by the breach have been informed, the company said.

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