JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Some United States Postal Service workers in the Jacksonville area are missing paychecks due to a cyber attack.
The mail service is conducting an investigation, but employees are unhappy with the outcome so far. Larisa Covington from Jacksonville said in February she was expecting her direct deposit to hit her account and realized her banking information had changed to one she had never heard of.
“I had $2,000 stolen from my LiteBlue account,” the postal worker said.
Covington said the PostalEASE Lite Blue system is how the USPS workers are able to set up benefits and direct deposits, which had her fingerprints, social security and other personal information as well.
“The United States Post Office said that they’re creating mirrored accounts. So when we log on, they’re mirroring it,” she said.
In a statement from the U.S. Postal Service’s Inspection Service and Corporate Information Security Office, the unusual activity occurred due to employee interaction with fake websites.
Covington received a letter afterward, stating the fake websites had similar web addresses to LiteBlue.
“All they did was send me a letter saying that they were going to give me a free year of credit monitoring. And that’s just about it,” said Covington.
She said all she wants is her money returned to her by the company.
“I just want to really know when I’m gonna get paid. When am I going to get my check? I worked hard for those two weeks,” Covington added.
The Inspection Service and Corporate Information Security Office would not confirm how many other people fell victim to the cyber breach or how much money was taken from their employees.
But Covington said she was informed by her supervisor and postmaster that it was a lot.
“When my money was stolen, they said around 1,000 others nationwide were taken also,” she said.
Due to the cyber breach, USPS states they have taken precautionary measures to prevent further unauthorized activity.
Covington has since spoken with the North Carolina Department of Labor and even Congressman Greg Murphy’s office to help resolve her issue.
In a statement from Murphy, he said his office is working with their partners at USPS and encourages others affected to reach out.
The full statement from USPS:
The U.S. Postal Service’s Inspection Service and Corporate Information Security Office were notified by the Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General of unusual log-in activity involving a limited number of employees’ accounts within the Postal Service’s PostalEASE system. The PostalEASE application has not been compromised. The unusual activity occurred due to employee interaction with “fake” websites. The Postal Service continues to take precautionary measures to prevent further unauthorized activity. We have notified affected employees and are purchasing a 1-year credit monitoring service for them. We plan to continue investigating and monitoring the PostalEASE application on our network to mitigate the risk of unauthorized activity. The Postal Service has taken additional measures to notify employees of any changes made in the PostalEASE application.
The full statement from Congressman Greg Murphy:
Cybersecurity is an ongoing threat. Recently, the office of Congressman Murphy was contacted by a constituent having payroll issues brought on by a cyber breach at her employer, the United States Postal Service. Congressman Murphy’s office is actively working on a resolution with partners at USPS and encourages any constituent with this issue – or any other issue with the federal government – to reach out and contact our office.