USPS data breach: Chinese hackers suspected of targeting U.S. Postal Service in latest cyberattack.

There’s Even a Data Breach at the Post Office Now

There’s Even a Data Breach at the Post Office Now

Moneybox
A blog about business and economics.
Nov. 11 2014 12:19 PM

There’s Even a Data Breach at the Post Office Now

U.S. Post Office, hacked by the Chinese
Hackable?

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Hackers might actually be running out of useful places to hack. FBI Director James Comey himself said last month that the Chinese had hacked every big company in the U.S. And their latest target? The U.S. Postal Service.

The USPS said Monday that the names, dates of birth, addresses, social security numbers, and other personal information of its 800,000 employees may have been compromised in a recent breach of its computer systems. While the FBI is still investigating the incident, the Washington Post reports that the hack was discovered in mid-September and is suspected to have come from the Chinese government.

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So far, the damage to customers seems relatively minor. The USPS said in a statement that there is "no evidence that any customer credit card information from retail or online purchases ... was compromised." On the other hand, customers who reached out to the USPS by phone or email between Jan. 1 and Aug. 16 may have had their names, addresses, and contact information compromised.

The Postal Service is the latest in a long string of organizations that have been targeted in cyberattacks lately. Target, Neiman Marcus, Michaels, Home Depot, and JPMorgan Chase have all disclosed data breaches this year. At the same time as the hacks have started occurring more frequently, America's interest in them has seemed to wane. Data breaches, like auto recalls, are on their way to becoming something people know they should care about, but mostly tune out.

Of course, this is all getting away from the main point: Hackers hacked the post office. Experts told the Washington Post that the breach needs to be viewed as "part of a continuous series of efforts to target the government" and that the Chinese might assume the U.S. Postal Service has more information on citizens (like their own) than it actually does. Even so: Who would have thought that the USPS had enough digital data to make it worth breaching?

Alison Griswold is a Slate staff writer covering business and economics.