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Lynch tells USPS computer security chief: “The secret squirrel stuff… that doesn’t fly”

At today’s House committee hearing on USPS data security and mail surveillance, USPS computer security czar Randy Miskanic told lawmakers that the USPS waited for two months to tell employees their data had been stolen because doing so sooner might have tipped off the hackers.

Congressman Stephen Lynch was not impressed:

“The secret squirrel stuff — we have to figure out how sophisticated these people were and what information they’ve got — that doesn’t fly,” said Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform’s subcommittee on the federal workforce, which held the hearing.

Legislation perhaps should be introduced "to make sure you cough up that information,” Lynch suggested.

"The way this should work is, as soon you know that a file has been compromised and it contains personally identifiable information — Social Security numbers — that employee should be notified," Lynch said. "If we go with your plan, a U.S. government agency could have the Social Security numbers for all its employees compromised and you’ll decide based on your own interests when the employees will be notified.”

Read more: Hackers Possibly Copied Postal Employee Pay Records – Nextgov.com.

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Video: Examining Data Security at the United States Postal Service

Video of today’s House committee hearing on USPS data security:

Written testimony:

Vice President of Secure Digital Solutions
United States Postal Service
Chief Postal Inspector
United States Postal Service Inspection Service
Deputy Inspector General
United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General
Visiting Fellow, Watson Institute for International Studies
Brown University
Narcotic Enforcement Division
Prince George’s County Police Department

Examining Data Security at the United States Postal Service | Committee on Oversight & Government Reform.

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Video: Packages stolen from USPS van in Memphis

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) – Police are looking for a thief who reportedly stole packages from a United States Postal Service van Monday while the USPS employee was walking door-to-door.

WMC Action News 5 – Memphis, Tennessee

Reportedly, the employee parked the delivery van in the 400 block of Dison Avenue while en route, when the employee returned to the van a window was smashed and packages were gone.

According to the United States Postal Service, there is no guarantee that the senders who did not buy insurance will receive their money back.

Read more: Protect your packages from the Grinch – WMC Action News 5 – Memphis, Tennessee.

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Postal Service ‘functioning normally’ after cyber breach, official says in testimony for hearing

The U.S. Postal Service is “functioning normally” after a recent cyber breach that compromised customer and employee data, and the agency has yet to find evidence that hackers used the information for identity theft, according to the agency’s head of digital security.

Randy Miskanic, USPS vice president for cybersecurity, called the attack “very sophisticated” but “limited in scope” in prepared testimony for the House subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and the Census. The congressional hearing on the breach is set for 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.

A review after the recent breach found that the various USPS divisions do not always follow the organization’s information-security policies and that critical systems were not properly segregated from the general network, Miskanic said in his prepared testimony.

Read more: Postal Service ‘functioning normally’ after cyber breach, official says in testimony for hearing – The Washington Post.

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Govt plans to use India Post’s postmen to educate people on schemes and policy

New Delhi: The government is planning to use India Post’s 1.55 lakh-strong branch network to reach out to citizens in far flung and backward areas and educate them about the various policies, schemes and incentives.

The ministry of information and broadcasting runs various awareness programmes for the citizens leveraging the Internet and the social media.

However, these initiatives are still out of the reach of many who live in backward and far flung areas there is no connectivity, sources said.

"This category of population is sizable and within the reach of post offices. I&B ministry can design programmes region-wise, which can then be used by the postman to go to these areas and educate the people," a source said.

Read more: Govt plans to use India Post's postmen to educate people on schemes and policy – Firstpost.

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Royal Mail shares fall sharply on concerns over competition

Shares in Royal Mail have fallen by more than 8% after the firm warned that rivals – including Amazon – were eating into its parcel delivery business.

Royal Mail said the rise of delivery firm Whistl could wipe £200m off sales.

It also said competition was endangering its government-mandated Universal Service, which guarantees a single price postal service that delivers to all UK addresses.

The caution came as Royal Mail reported a small fall in pre-tax profits.

Read more: BBC News – Royal Mail shares fall sharply on concerns over competition.

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Video: UPS, FedEx Gird for an Earlier Holiday Rush

United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp. are gearing up for a new test of their ability to handle the surge in holiday e-commerce: The frenzy of online shopping that now comes at the beginning of Thanksgiving weekend, instead of afterward.

They learned that lesson the hard way last year. In 2013, the delivery companies were caught off guard when their shipments jumped 23% the week after Thanksgiving, according to shipment-tracking software developer Shipmatrix Inc. Not only was that a big increase, it came earlier than expected.

UPS—which previously had treated Thanksgiving weekend as relatively quiet, with no full sorting operations and limited number of drivers out on the road—had been expecting the online holiday rush to begin the following week.

Read more: UPS, FedEx Gird for an Earlier Holiday Rush – WSJ.

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Carrier assaulted at Massachusetts senior housing complex

From the Attleboro MA Sun Chronicle:

Norton police Lt. Todd Jackson said in an email that a mail carrier reported she was sexually assaulted Nov. 1 by a resident of the Norton Housing Authority at 120 West Main St.

Jackson said the carrier alleged a 78-year-old man touched her inappropriately while she was delivering mail in the complex.

Postal Service spokeswoman Christine Dugas said that since the incident, a supervisor has been accompanying letter carriers when delivering to the site. Mail service has not been discontinued, although there might have been a day or two without deliveries when a supervisor was unavailable, she said.

"There is no plan to cut off mail delivery," Dugas said.

In an effort to set the mail problem straight, Dugas said the Postal Service is working with housing authority Executive Director Andrea Downey in looking for a more central delivery site within the complex.

Currently, mail boxes are spread out in 13 locations. The plan is to combine all of the boxes in one spot.

Read more: Residents at Norton senior housing worry about mail delivery in wake of alleged assault – The Sun Chronicle : Local News.

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NALC files NLRB charge over USPS response to hacking

From the National Association of Letter Carriers:

NALC-LOGOAs previously reported, NALC is continuing to monitor the Postal Service’s response to the cyber breach that compromised a Postal Service computer file containing employees’ personal and employment information. NALC has filed a charge with the National Labor Relations Board protesting the Postal Service’s failure to provide NALC advance notice of, and an opportunity to bargain over, the Postal Service’s response to this breach. Pending resolution of this dispute, individual letter carriers may elect to enroll in the credit monitoring service offered by the Postal Service, with the knowledge that NALC may seek different or additional remedies.

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Chuck McGann to leave USPS for private sector

The chief information security officer for the United States Postal Service is leaving government for an undisclosed position in the private sector, the USPS confirmed to FedScoop Tuesday.

The agency did not announce McGann’s departure date.

“After 27 years of dedicated service, Chuck McGann is retiring from the Postal Service,” USPS spokesman Dave Partenheimer said in a statement to FedScoop.

According to Partenheimer, as part of his job, McGann was responsible for overseeing the information security of one of the largest technology networks maintained by any organization in the world.

McGann’s departure comes just eight days after USPS announced a major cyber intrusion that potentially compromised the data of approximately 800,000 current and former employees. McGann’s departure, however, was not related to the breach and had been planned, according to a senior USPS official.

Read more: BREAKING: Chuck McGann to leave USPS for private sector – FedScoop.