Cyberattack: Royal Mail gradually resumes international shipments

The Royal Mail logo pictured outside a delivery office in north London on September 8, 2022 (AFP/Archives/Justin TALLIS)

The British postal group Royal Mail, targeted by a cyber-attack which forced it to stop international shipments last week, announced on Wednesday that it would gradually resume the transport of letters and parcels abroad.

Royal mail has “resumed the export of letters not requiring a customs declaration to all international destinations”, the carrier said in a statement.

Regarding parcels, the company says it is “testing operational workarounds” and specifies that it has “started transporting limited volumes” of packages abroad.

Royal Mail says its aim will initially be to deal with those already posted which could not be delivered and “continues to ask customers not to bring in new parcels” for the time being.

The Russian-speaking group Lockbit would be behind the cyberattack on the postal group, the daily The Telegraph said last week.

LockBit is notably known for having disrupted the operation of the South Ile-de-France Hospital Center (CHSF) in Corbeil-Essonnes by launching a spectacular cyberattack last August, or for having claimed responsibility for a cyberattack against the French group Thales.

In the case of Royal Mail, Lockbit would have proceeded via a ransomware blocking the computer system of the British postal group used to print slips essential for sending parcels abroad.

Royal Mail “continues to work with external experts, security authorities and regulators to mitigate the impact of this cyber incident,” the company said in its statement.

Receipt of international mail is experiencing only minor delays and domestic operations are not affected.

Royal Mail, in decline, suffered a drop in revenue of more than 10% for its staggered first half, according to figures published in November, suffering in particular from the fall in the volume of parcels, which had been boosted by the pandemic , and an ongoing labor dispute over wages.

The company had said in October considering up to 10,000 job cuts by August, which could result in 6,000 layoffs out of more than 137,000 employees.

© 2023 AFP

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