Medical and bank records of USPS workers comp employees may have been compromised

From the Mail Handlers Union:

December 18, 2014 – In a new development on the earlier data breach at the Postal Service, USPS has now sent individual letters to another group of employees who may have had personal information compromised.  USPS informed us that a large number of Workers Compensation records were “possibly” compromised, in some cases including not only personal identifying information (such as social security number), but certain medical information and bank routing information as well.  Further, these types of records go back many years, as opposed to the earlier reports related to records back as far as May 2012.

All affected employees and former employees should begin receiving letters this week from the Postal Service, alerting them to this possible breach, and recommending actions they should take to protect themselves.

If you are not sure whether your OWCP claim is one of those affected, or if you wish to speak with someone directly about your situation, you are encouraged to contact the USPS Human Resources Shared Service Center 1-877-477-3273 and choose option 5 (option 1 for TDD/TTY), Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. eastern time.

In an on-line story posted on our web site on November 19, 2014, we provided links to some helpful web sites that provide more information on data breaches, and how to protect yourself against adverse consequences.  In addition to credit monitoring, some of these sites suggest that individuals consider protecting themselves against “existing account fraud” by placing a fraud alert, a freeze, or both on their credit report.  In many states, victims of a data breach can freeze their credit for free, but be aware that such a freeze may be inconvenient if you are trying to obtain credit, such as applying for a new credit card, buying or renting a place to live, etc.  We encourage you to review this information carefully to decide how best to protect yourself going forward, as the NPMHU National Office continues to do everything in its power to address this breach, and to prevent future breaches that may affect employees, retirees, and others at the Postal Service.
Union Notified of New Developments in USPS Data Breach – National Postal Mail Handlers Union.

Video: Behind the Scenes: USPS busy as Christmas nears

All the mail for south central and southwestern Wisconsin goes through the United States Postal Service processing and distribution center in Madison before making its way to its final destination.

This week things are busier than any other time of the year.

“On an average day, we may cancel about 250,000, 260,000 letters and cards.”

But when Christmas is near, “On our busiest day, which was on Monday of this week, we canceled a little bit over one million letters and postcards, most of them being Christmas cards.”

Read more: Behind the Scenes: USPS busy as Christmas nears.

OIG: USPS Parcel Tracking System is vulnerable to attack by hackers

Clipboard01Just months after the USPS suffered a massive employee data breach, and the loss of a security database, the Office of Inspector General has found that the service has not properly secured its Parcel Tracking and Reporting System. This failure, according to the IG report, could allow “a malicious user to gain access to the PTR database, which could result in disclosure or modification of sensitive customer data, loss of PTR system availability, and financial liabilities. In addition, these weaknesses could allow unauthorized access to personally identifiable information, such as home addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses contained within PTR.”

From the report:

The Postal Service needs to improve its process for managing and securing the PTR system. Management did not safeguard eight servers that support the PTR system as required in the Postal Service security standards. Specifically, management did not apply critical patch updates to the operating system servers and databases. In addition, management did not properly configure the operating system, databases, and the web server to comply with security standards. Further, we determined the PTR web server contained unsupported software. Management also has not completed the disaster recovery plan for the PTR system. This occurred because management focused on other priorities such as system releases, system maintenance, and Sarbanes-Oxley Act compliance. In addition, due to a vendor software issue, management did not ensure that security configurations were reviewed on the web application server.

The USPS did not dispute the OIG findings.

Read more: OIG: USPS Parcel Tracking System is vulnerable to attack by hackers.

Video: Package stolen off Chicago porch

CHICAGO (WLS) —

A young woman or teen was caught on surveillance video stealing a package from a home in Chicago’s Roscoe Village neighborhood.

"She knew what she was doing. She had an open shopping bag ready in her hand and the bag was already open. She walked up on to the porch grabbed the package and put it right in there," Mike Boush, resident, said.

That package had a pair of pants, Boush said. Another package that was supposed to arrive weeks earlier also went missing, but his video surveillance doesn’t go back that far.

"We were stunned. We were completely stunned. We were speechless for 30 minutes. Stunned that somebody stole something from our front porch," Boush said.

Read more: Package stolen off Roscoe Village porch | abc7chicago.com.

USPS network operations in full force for the holidays

From USPS News Link:

Postal facilities across the nation are working hard to keep the mail moving during the peak holiday season.

Atlanta District is having its biggest season ever. One example: Package volume at the Peachtree P&DC has surged 23 percent this month compared to last year, with 735,000 packages processed Dec. 15 alone.

In the Midwest, the Michigan Metroplex in Pontiac has been working around the clock to cancel millions of holiday cards and letters. The facility expects to cancel 58 million mailpieces, more than any other during December.

Meanwhile, the Miami International Service Center (ISC), one of four in the United States, will sort about 1 million packages during the holidays.

The Miami ISC — open 24/7, 365 days a year — processes all mail heading to the Caribbean and South America. The facility has 300 regular employees and added 110 temporary employees for the holidays.

“This is our season, and we are more than ready to handle the increase in package volume for our customers,” said Distribution Operations Supervisor Marina Santos.

Processing centers aren’t the only facilities in holiday crunch mode, though. At the Milam Dairy Post Office in Miami, carriers are using new cargo vans that are specifically designed to deliver packages from other countries.

The Postal Service is expected to deliver about 15.5 billion pieces of mail during the holidays, including as many as 470 million packages.

Read more: USPS News Link Story – Peak performance.

Video: Being a mail carrier on the busiest delivery day of the year

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – With less than 10 days until Christmas Santa’s delivery elves are working overtime.

Monday marked the busiest shipping day of the year. Now it’s only fitting that Wednesday is the busiest day for deliveries.

“Going door to door to door to door,” explains Gary McGaha, a Letter Carrier with the United States Postal Service in Terre Haute.

Delivering mail quickly, efficiently, and with a smile is all part of a day’s work for McGaha.

“I love my job.”

Read more: Being a mail carrier on the busiest delivery day of the year | WTHITV.com.

Video: Expect more shipping delays from USPS starting next year

HOUSTON (KTRK) —

Over the last two weeks we’ve been telling you about delayed packages that the we uncovered at the U.S. Post Service and now we know it’s just the beginning. All of us will be seeing slower delivery times and it starts in a matter of days.

Our investigation started out with one eBay seller telling us his packages were being sent to a Houston processing center and then just sitting there for days. Then more of you said the same thing was happening to your mail.

Now we’ve found out it’s going to happen system wide beginning just after the new year.

Read more: Expect more shipping delays from USPS starting next year | abc13.com.

Royal Mail privatisation £180m underpriced, review says

The government made £180m less from the £2bn sale of Royal Mail than it could have, a report commissioned by Business Secretary Vince Cable has said.

It says shares could have been valued up to 30p more than the flotation price of 330p because of the high level of demand from banks and individuals.

However, former City minister Lord Myners, who led the report, said this would have involved "substantial" risk.

MPs have suggested taxpayers lost out by £1bn in the 2013 privatisation.

Read more: BBC News – Royal Mail privatisation £180m underpriced, review says.

Video: ‘Parcel Pirates’ Following Delivery Trucks, Stealing Packages

SACAMRAMENTO (CBS13) – Wednesday was the busiest delivery day of the year. This holiday season, package deliveries are up by about 12 percent, but also on the rise are package thefts.

A lot of people are asking the question: How can you protect yourself from delivery theft? CBS13’s Anjali Hemphill has answers.

Read more: ‘Parcel Pirates’ Following Delivery Trucks, Stealing Packages « CBS Sacramento.