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US Postal Service emergency records system will expand to support ransomware, breach response

February 16, 2022
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The U.S. Postal Service is expanding the use of its emergency records systems to cover ransomware attacks and other cybersecurity incidents.

The Emergency Management System used by USPS officials and other “officially designated individuals and agencies” to collaborate and coordinate in the face of a natural or manmade emergency, facilitate medical and fitness trainings, locate individuals caught up in an emergency, test individuals for exposure to hazards and provide information about disaster recovery programs and services.

Now, according to a Federal Register notice published Tuesday, USPS officials are updating a document that outlines the system’s use and purpose to include assisting officials “to prepare for, identify and respond to cybersecurity incidents aimed at or affecting the United States Federal Government or the Postal Service,” including ransomware incidents and the exploitation of computer vulnerabilities. The notice also adds a number of other new purposes for the system, including tracking COVID-19 vaccination status, medical evaluations and contact tracing for USPS employees, contractors and customers.

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