US Postal Service Says It Has Been Hacked, Employee Information May Have Been Compromised
Chinese government hackers are suspected of breaching the computer networks of the United States Postal Service, compromising the data of more than 800,000 employees.
The intrusion was discovered in mid-September, said officials, who declined to comment on who was thought to be responsible.
HOUSTON – Kenton Deon Harrell, 41, Kenneth Shane Howard, 34, and Malcolm Derrail Williams, 32, have been handed their sentences following their convictions of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. A federal jury convicted Harrell following four days of trial and approximately three hours of deliberation in June 2014, while the other two had previously entered guilty pleas as did a fourth defendant – Charles Ray Blake, 41. All are from Houston.
The APWU Oakland Local #78 took the unusual step of launching an office-wide petition against Tour 1 Postal Supervisor Preet Singh. The petition, which has more than 100 signatures, details years of a variety of unacceptable conduct. The petition was sent to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, USPS Bay-Valley District Manager,Mark Martinez, California Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-13th) and the USPS Office Of Inspector General (OIG).
USPS Premier Offices will soon receive pre-packaged blank labels that customers can buy to print Click-N-Ship labels.
The labels are now sold online. The retail packs will give customers the option of purchasing the labels during visits to USPS Premier Offices.
Filed under: APWU, contract, politics, post offices, postal, postal clerks, postal employees, postal managers, postal news, rural carriers, usps
With negotiations for a new contract set to begin on Feb. 19, 2015, it’s worth noting that in the past, when talks have ended in arbitration, the #USPS has used the anti-union law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius to represent management’s interests.
The firm, which has more than 1,400 attorneys in 25 offices, is considered one of the leading #union-busting law firms in the country.
It has a long history fighting workers. When former President Ronald Reagan fired striking Air Traffic Controllers in 1981, Morgan Lewis served as the FAA’s (Federal Aviation Administration) attorneys. The strike was a major defeat for labor; PATCO, the Professional Air Traffic Controllers union, was disbanded soon after.
Read more: The Postal Service’s Union-Busting Law Firm
During the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Information Technology Internal Controls audit, the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG) became aware of a hardware failure that resulted in the loss of the Computer Incident Response Team (CIRT) database used to record and monitor computer incidents.
The U.S. Postal Service’s Data Management Services group periodically performs off-site backups for hundreds of critical databases. However, there are other essential databases that are not classified as critical2 that are used for daily functions. These functions include analysis of historical data and maintaining records for compliance with existing security policy.3 We are issuing this alert to make the Postal Service aware of the need to modify its current backup and storage requirements to ensure that essential, but not critical, data is available.
The Postal Service did not ensure all database backups were being stored on separate hardware. Specifically, the CIRT database was lost due to a hardware failure and the data was not recovered due to the absence of a backup on a separate piece of hardware. As a result, this database was not available to perform historical analyses and the Postal Service could not comply with security policy. Although the Postal Service took immediate corrective action for this database by implementing backup procedures on separate hardware, there may be other unidentified databases that are not backed up on separate hardware that could result in a loss of data and the inability to comply with record maintenance requirements.
Backup and Recovery
The Postal Service maintained an essential CIRT database and backed up a copy of the database on the same hardware. On April 4, 2014, a hardware failure occurred that made the original database and the backup of the database inaccessible. 4 As a result, the database was not available to perform analyses of computer incidents that would enable management to more effectively monitor and resolve new incidents in a timely manner. In addition, the Postal Service could not maintain an electronic incident repository.
Although management responded swiftly and took corrective action by updating and implementing backup procedures for a new CIRT database using the5 application, there may be other essential databases used by other groups that are not backed up on separate hardware. The practice of backing up data on the same hardware could result in the loss of essential data, increased workhours to recreate the databases, and an inability to perform analyses in the event of hardware failure.
Currently, the Postal Service’s security standards6 state critical information resources must be stored off-site at a location that is not subject to the same threats as the original media, but does not prohibit the practice of using the same hardware to maintain and back up noncritical information resources. If the standards were updated, database owners would need to review and possibly modify their backup procedures, thereby ensuring information resources can be restored in a timely manner in the event of a hardware failure.
We recommend the manager, Corporate Information Security:
1. Expand existing procedures in Handbook AS-805, Information Security, to prohibit the practice of using the same hardware to maintain and back up noncritical information resources.
2. Issue a reminder that data backups are to be maintained in an appropriate location to reduce potential loss, damage, or misuse of essential data.
read OIG report
August 16, 2012) As announced at the 2012 NPMHU National Convention last week, after the parties were done striking names from a list provided by the U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, FMCS Director George Cohen has appointed Herbert Fishgold as the arbitrator for the NPMHU/USPS bargaining dispute. Mr. Fishgold is an arbitrator of nationwide reputation and professional stature, who is also a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators. Indeed, Mr. Fishgold has served as a third-party neutral for more than thirty years, during which time he has mediated and arbitrated bargaining disputes in a wide range of industries at the national, state, and local levels.
Arbitrator Fishgold is generally familiar with many of the basic facts and issues presented by the Postal Service, the mailing industry, and postal employees generally – based on, among other things, his service as an interest arbitrator in the 2006 dispute between the National Rural Letter Carriers Association and the Postal Service. And, Fishgold most recently served as the mediator in the last stage of the process to try and settle the NPMHU/USPS impasse.
The parties must now each select one additional member to serve on the three-person arbitration panel, and that process should be concluded shortly.
As the arbitration moves forward, the National Office will keep you updated, to the extent possible, during what is expected to be a lengthy arbitration process.
The War of 1812: USS Constitution stamps also commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812.
The first-day-of-issue ceremony will be at the Charleston Navy Yard in Boston, MA. The event will be open to the public and will take place next to the USS Constitution, nicknamed “Old Ironsides.”
Starting Aug. 18, the new War of 1812: USS Constitution stamps can be purchased at Post Offices nationwide, online at usps.com/store and by phone at 800-STAMP-24 (800-782-6724).
In 1955, Former PMG Arthur E. Summerfield authorized the first emblem patch for uniforms worn by letter carriers. Employees were not required to wear them until 1957.
The original emblems were 3-inch circular patches with a backward (facing right) horse and rider that were worn on the left sleeves of shirts and coats.
The direction of the horse and rider was flipped to face forward in early 1965. The center background was changed to blue.
The eagle “seal” was adopted following passage of the Postal Reorganization Act in 1970 — the law that created USPS as an independent establishment of the government’s executive branch. That same year, the 3-inch circular uniform patch was replaced by a 3 1/2-inch square one that featured an eagle facing left atop a red bar over the words “U.S. MAIL” and a blue bar underneath.
In 1990, the patch was redesigned to feature a blue eagle facing right atop a red bar, over the words “U.S. MAIL.”
In 1995, USPS adopted a corporate logo that included the “sonic eagle” — often described as an eagle’s head and beak leaning into the wind. The same year, USPS introduced a new patch, square-shaped and canted slightly to the right to simulate the impression of movement. Embroidered in black were the words “UNITED STATES” underlined by a thin red line and followed by the words “POSTAL SERVICE.”
The 1995 patch still is in use today.