The U.S. Postal Service said on Monday that they could be victims of a cyberattack, and their employees personal information may have been hacked.
According to the Associated Press, the Postal Service said that FBI and other federal agencies are still investigating the case.
David Partenheimer, spokesman for the Postal Service, said that the personal information of their employees may have been collected in the cyber attack. The personal information includes the employees’ names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, addresses, emergency contacts and other information.
“The intrusion is limited in scope and all operations of the Postal Service are functioning normally,” Partenheimer said.
Partenheimer said that the customers at local post offices or customers using the usps.com website are safe, and their information is still secure. However, the people who used the call center may be in trouble, as their telephone numbers, email addresses and other information have possibly been hacked.
The Postal Service consists of over 617,000 employees, and they have not reported exactly how many people have been affected.
Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe explains how anybody who uses the Internet is vulnerable to a cyber attack. “It is an unfortunate fact of life these days that every organization connected to the Internet is a constant target for cyber intrusion activity,” Donahoe said. “The United States Postal Service is no different.”
Donoahoe further explains in his statement that they are doing whatever they can to protect their employees and customers.
“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.
There are many ways to prevent a cyber attack from happening to you. Homeland Security gives a few tips on how you can avoid your personal information from being hacked:
Other practical tips to protect yourself from cyber attacks:
- Set secure passwords and don’t share them with anyone. Avoid using common words, phrases, or personal information and update regularly.
- Keep your operating system, browser, anti-virus and other critical software up to date. Security updates and patches are available for free from major companies.
- Verify the authenticity of requests from companies or individuals by contacting them directly. If you are asked to provide personal information via email, you can independently contact the company directly to verify this request.
- Pay close attention to website URLs. Pay attention to the URLs of websites you visit. Malicious websites sometimes use a variation in common spelling or a different domain (for example, .com instead of .net) to deceive unsuspecting computer users.
- For e-Mail, turn off the option to automatically download attachments.
- Be suspicious of unknown links or requests sent through email or text message. Do not click on unknown links or answer strange questions sent to your mobile device, regardless of who the sender appears to be.