The UK’s Royal Mail has been forced to suspend overseas services amid serious disruption caused by a cyber attack of an as-yet unspecified nature.
The attack has hit its international export services and means it is currently unable to dispatch letters or parcels outside the UK. Computer Weekly understands that domestic services are unaffected.
“Royal Mail is experiencing severe service disruption to our international export services following a cyber incident,” said a spokesperson.
“We are temporarily unable to despatch export items including letters and parcels to overseas destinations. We have asked customers temporarily to stop submitting any export items into the network while we work hard to resolve the issue. Some customers may experience delay or disruption to items already shipped for export. Our import operations continue to perform a full service with some minor delays.
“Our teams are working around the clock to resolve this disruption and we will update customers as soon as we have more information. We immediately launched an investigation into the incident and we are working with external experts. We have reported the incident to our regulators and the relevant security authorities.
“We would like to sincerely apologise to impacted customers for any disruption this incident may be causing,” the Royal Mail spokesperson said.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) confirmed via Twitter that it is providing assistance. “We are aware of an incident affecting Royal Mail Group Ltd and are working with the company, alongside the National Crime Agency, to fully understand the impact,” said an NCSC spokesperson.
The cyber attack comes in the middle of a difficult period for Royal Mail as it struggles with the impact of a series of strikes by members of the Communications Workers Union (CWU), which caused significant disruption in the run-up to Christmas 2022.
It is engaged in talks with the CWU through mediation service Acas, which are currently scheduled to conclude on Friday 20 January.
At the time of writing, no further information about the precise nature of the incident had been made available.