Cyberthreat warning

USPS is requiring employees, contractors and others to demonstrate increased cybersecurity vigilance amid escalating tensions in the Middle East.

Email spearphishing campaigns targeting U.S. government agencies are intensifying, the Postal Service Corporate Information Security Office reports. Cyberthreat actors are aggressively attempting to steal sensitive information, including account credentials and financial data, using targeted campaigns.

This often is achieved by acquiring the victim’s personal details, such as the names of their friends, hometown, employer, locations they frequent, and recent online purchases. The attackers then disguise themselves as a trustworthy entity to acquire sensitive information, typically through email or other online messaging.

Previous email campaigns have targeted multiple U.S. government agencies, including some USPS employees. No compromise of data has been reported, either at USPS or the other targeted agencies.

To prevent phishing attacks and to protect the Postal Service, the CyberSafe at USPS team offers these tips:

• Slow down. Pause and evaluate a message before taking action, and be wary of “urgent” requests.

• Verify the sender. If something doesn’t seem right, contact the sender by looking up his or her official email address.

Don’t click. Hover. Ensure all hyperlinked descriptions match their destinations.

• Beware of attachments. Don’t open or click on anything attached to a suspicious email.

• Be skeptical. Consider whether a “once in a lifetime” offer could be real.

• Protect your information. Never provide personal information or your USPS credentials via email.

• Spell check. Spelling and grammar mistakes can indicate a phishing attempt.

If you think you’ve been targeted by a phishing attempt, don’t forward the message. Select the “Report to CyberSafe” Outlook button, call 866-877-7247 or send an email to CyberSafe@usps.gov.

The CyberSafe at USPS Blue and LiteBlue pages have additional guidance.

Righting wrongs

The latest episode of the USPS video series Engage highlights a postal plant where supervisors and employees have learned to work better together.

The Dominick V. Daniels Processing and Distribution Center in Kearny, NJ, faced a morale problem when Jacqueline Thomas became plant manager in 2017.

“When I first got here, people didn’t want to come to work or they came and they were not happy,” Thomas says in the episode.

She met with employees at the 1-million-square-foot facility, listened to their feedback and made changes, including providing supervisors with training on how to better communicate with their team members.

Other efforts included appointing employees to serve as “captains” who oversee certain aspects of the plant’s operations. Employees also received regular recognition for their performance.

Within a few months, attendance improved, sick leave and accident rates dropped, and productivity increased.

Darvis Whately, a mail processing clerk, credits the plant’s managers and supervisors for taking the “initiative to making the wrong right and then move forward with the right.”

The five-minute video is the 11th episode of “Engage,” which is part of the Postal Service’s broader efforts to engage, empower and equip employees, a core strategy.

Says Thomas: “If you want to change anything, everybody has to feel like they are part of it.”