Personal data belonging to hundreds of thousands of U.S. Postal Service employees and customers might have been compromised in a recent cyber-attack, the agency confirmed on Monday.
Chinese government hackers are suspected of breaking into the Post Office’s computer networks, The Washington Post reported this week. The government, however, continues to deny it takes part in cybertheft.
More than 800,000 workers and retirees who receive their salaries from USPS could be influenced, NBC News reported. Information that might have been taken include the individuals’ names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, addresses, and terms of employment. Customer credit card details initially didn’t appear to be at risk.
The interference might also include information for people who contacted the USPS Customer Care Center via telephone or e-mail this year between Jan. 1 and Aug. 16.
“The intrusion is limited in scope and all operations of the Postal Service are functioning normally,” David Partenheimer, USPS media relations manager, wrote in a statement.
The USPS recently implemented additional measures designed to improve the security of its information systems, he added. The FBI is leading an ongoing investigation into the cyber-hack, which was discovered in mid-September and confirmed this week.
The news came as President Barack Obama arrived Monday for an economic summit in Beijing. The White House will use the visit to strengthen U.S. ties to China, and likely seek to address human rights and environmental issues with the country. Obama’s discussions with President Xi Jinping marked the first time the two leaders met on Chinese soil. Obama will also visit Myanmar and Australia as part of his week-long trip overseas.