The United States Postal Service (USPS) has fallen victim to a hack attack. The government service on Monday revealed what it referred to as a “cybersecurity intrusion” into some of its information systems. The good news is the hack is reportedly limited in scope and all post office services are up and running normally.
The postal service launched an investigation into the incident as soon as it became aware of the intrusion and is cooperating with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), as well as other federal and postal investigatory agencies that are also on the hunt for the intruders.
“Information potentially compromised in the incident may include personally identifiable information about employees, including names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, addresses, beginning and end dates of employment, emergency contact information and other information,” said David Partenheimer, Manager of Media Relations for USPS. “Postal service transactional revenue systems in post offices as well as on usps.com where customers pay for services with credit and debit cards have not been affected by this incident.”
What USPS Is Doing
There is no evidence that any customer credit card information from retail or online purchases such as Click-N-Ship, the Postal Store, PostalOne, change of address or other services was compromised, according to Partenheimer. However, the intrusion also compromised call center data for customers who contacted the postal service customer care center with inquiries via telephone or e-mail between January 1, 2014, and August 16, 2014, he noted.
“This compromised data consists of names, addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses and other information for those customers who may have provided this information,” Partenheimer said. “At this time, we do not believe that potentially affected customers need to take any action as a result of this incident.”
Partenheimer reiterated the importance of the privacy and security of data entrusted to the USPS. He said the service recently implemented additional security measures designed to improve the security of its information systems, including certain action this past weekend that caused some systems to be offline.
“We began communicating this morning with our employees about this incident, apologized to them for it, and have let them know that we will be providing them with credit monitoring services for one year at no charge to them,” he said. “Employees also have the personalized assistance available to them provided by the Human Resources Shared Services Center. We are committed to helping our employees deal with this situation.”
Dark Market Web Sites
The FBI has its hands full with cybercrime these days. Federal law enforcement has taken action against over 400 Tor hidden service .onion addresses, including dozens of “dark market” Web sites that were offering a range of illegal goods and services for sale on the “Tor” network, a special network of computers on the Internet designed to conceal the locations of individuals using it.
“Working closely with domestic and international law enforcement, the FBI and our partners have taken action to disrupt several Web sites dedicated to the buying and selling of illegal drugs and other unlawful goods,” said FBI Executive Assistant Director Robert Anderson. “Combating cybercriminals remains a top priority for the FBI, and we continue to aggressively investigate, disrupt, and dismantle illicit networks that pose a threat in cyberspace.”
Image credit: U.S. Postal Service.
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