Industry News

Chinese Accused of Hacking 800,000 US Postal Service Employees

Chinese Accused of Hacking 800,000 US Postal Service Employees Chinese hackers have allegedly broken into the system network of the US Postal Service (USPS) and stolen data belonging to 800,000 employees, according to news reports.

Compromised data includes names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, addresses, dates of employment and other private information, the USPS said.

However, it seems the perpetrators were not specifically interested in the data.

“It is an unfortunate fact of life these days that every organization connected to the Internet is a constant target for cyber intrusion activity,” Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said. “The United States Postal Service is no different. Fortunately, we have seen no evidence of malicious use of the compromised data and we are taking steps to help our employees protect against any potential misuse of their data.”

This raised questions over the identity of the hackers. Security experts said China might be spying to gather large sets of data on US citizens.

“They’re just looking for big pots of data on government employees,” said James A. Lewis, cyber-policy expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “For the Chinese, this is probably a way of building their inventory on U.S. persons for counterintelligence and recruitment purposes.”

The intrusion, discovered in mid-September, also affected customers who contacted the Postal Service Customer Care Center by phone or e-mail in the first six months of 2014, USPS said. Their names, e-mail addresses and phone numbers were exposed. Social Security numbers and customer credit card information from post offices or online purchases were not affected, officials said.

About the author

Alexandra GHEORGHE

Alexandra started writing about IT at the dawn of the decade - when an iPad was an eye-injury patch, we were minus Google+ and we all had Jobs. She has since wielded her background in PR and marketing communications to translate binary code to colorful stories that have been known to wear out readers' mouse scrolls. Alexandra is also a social media enthusiast who 'likes' only what she likes and LOLs only when she laughs out loud.

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