The U.S. Postal Service has become the latest victim of cyber security intrusion of their information systems, compromising data such as names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, addresses, beginning and end dates of employment, emergency contact information and other information of approximately 800,000 individuals including employees, directors and regulators, the U.S. Postal Service said Monday.
Call center data for customers who contacted the Postal Service Customer Care Center with an inquiry via telephone or e-mail between Jan. 1, 2014, and Aug. 16, 2014, has been hit as well.
“We began investigating this incident as soon as we learned of it, and we are cooperating with the investigation, which is ongoing. The investigation is being led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and joined by other federal and postal investigatory agencies. The intrusion is limited in scope and all operations of the Postal Service are functioning normally,” informed a press release revealing the breach.
However, Portals where customers pay for services with credit and debit cards have not been affected by this incident with no evidence of customer credit card information from retail or online purchases or other services, being compromised. Employees will get free credit monitoring services for a year with personalized assistance available to them provided by the Human Resources Shared Services Center.
Chinese hackers may have been responsible for the breach, reports Washington Post. The hack was “obviously done by a sophisticated person or group,” said USPS spokesman David Partenheimer. “It looks like a similar pattern that other government agencies and large corporations had experienced.”
Suspicious activity was detected in mid-September, and information systems were breached some time after that, said USPS spokesman David Partenheimer.
This attack is another in a series of cyber attacks that have hounded both private and public sectors in the US through this year. “The increasing number of cyberattacks in both the public and private sectors is unprecedented and poses a clear and present danger to our nation’s security,”said ranking member Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D., Md.).
(Image Credit: Tactical Technology Collective)