House hearing will probe Postal Service breach

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will examine the recent U.S. Postal Service (USPS) data breach during a hearing next Wednesday.

The hearing was expected, as the committee’s top members have all pressed USPS for more information since the agency revealed on Monday a cyberattack that had exposed the information of 800,000 employees.

{mosads}Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said the Postal Service knew about the hack in September but waited until late October to confidentially brief the committee.

The USPS only told employees this week their personal information was at risk.

The committee will seek “information about why the administration waited two months before making the news of this attack public and preventing victims from taking proactive measures to secure their own information,” Issa said in a joint statement with Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas), who chairs the House Subcommittee on Postal Service.

“We have not been told why the agency no longer considers the information classified.”

The American Postal Workers Union has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board over the delayed notification.

The USPS twice briefed the Oversight Committee on the attack, but Committee ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) requested more information in a letter sent Monday to the agency.

Chinese hackers are widely suspected in the attack.

High-profile cyberattacks on government agencies have piled up through 2014. The White House, the Office of Personnel Management and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have all been targeted.

The cyber offensives have raised questions about government information security and breach disclosure rules. Policymakers have lambasted agencies for coming clean to Congress while misleading the public.

Issa said the issue “underscores the dire need” to reform federal information security laws, which have not been updated since 2002. 

Tags American Postal Workers Union Blake Farenthold cybersecurity Cyberwarfare Hacking House United States Postal Service
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