Another cyber issue, but this time involving Britain’s postal service.
The incident temporarily prevented it from sending letters or parcels to other countries. Royal Mail reported on its website that international export services were “experiencing severe service disruption” without providing further details. The British government’s national cyber security center said it’s aware of the incident and is working with Royal Mail and the national cyber crime agency “to fully understand the impact.”
Services for mail coming into the country are currently back up and running with only some minor delays. According to Down Detector, other countries’ postal services also suffered some brief outages on the same day.
The problem actually stemmed from the Universal Postal Union. The Universal Postal Union, which was established by the treaty of Bern in 1874, controls the postal system of the world including a closed-loop banking system which was taken over early Thursday by the Alpha 2 system. All back doors to the system were removed prior to reintegration.
The Union became an agency of the United Nations in the late 1940’s and is run by the UN economic and social council. Its postmaster general is in charge of all other postmasters in every nation in the world. Most think the management of the post office lies in the hand of the government, but it hasn’t in a very long time. In fact, a large percentage of the post office’s income goes directly to the Union and not the government.
The postal union’s control came to an end on Thursday morning causing only a slight disruption in services.