Postal Updates

Royal Mail experiences cyber incident

Jan 13, 2023, 12 PM

By David Hartwig

Great Britain’s Royal Mail has reported a cyber incident and is temporarily unable to send international mail, a Jan. 12 article by BBC business reporter Tom Espiner said.

According to Espiner, the affected back office system, in use at six sites, prepares international mail and tracks overseas items.

Royal Mail has not issued a statement, but in a Jan. 12 tweet the postal agency said: “We're experiencing disruption to our international export services and are temporarily unable to despatch items to overseas destinations.

“Please do not post any export items while we work to resolve the issue.

“Sorry for any disruption this may cause.”

Joe Tidy, a cyber reporter for the BBC, said “Royal Mail is being especially vague about what is happening inside its international mail centres.”

Espiner reported that the postal agency is calling this a cyber incident rather than a cyber attack because the cause is not known.

Tidy said that the postal agency is “being careful not to call it a cyber-attack, which opens up the possibility that it might be a large scale technical glitch, or even some sort of sabotage to the system.”

However, the incident has been reported to the National Cyber Security Centre, part of the United Kingdom’s cyber intelligence agency.

A spokesperson from the center said: “We are aware of an incident affecting Royal Mail Group Ltd and are working with the company, alongside the National Crime Agency, to fully understand the impact.”

Tidy said this is “a major incident with far-reaching effects.”

Ireland’s post office, An Post, issued a statement saying that while Royal Mail will not send “any letters or small packets to Ireland from Britain or Northern Ireland for the next few days,” An Post will continue to send mail to Britain as usual.

Linn's is expecting a statement from Royal Mail.

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