Royal Mail's export services disrupted after 'cyber incident'

Following a cyber disruption, UK's Royal Mail has been met with the challenge of not being able to send mail overseas.

 A postal worker makes a delivery in London (photo credit: REUTERS)
A postal worker makes a delivery in London
(photo credit: REUTERS)

Britain's Royal Mail said on Wednesday it was facing severe disruption to its international export services following what it described as "a cyber incident".

"We are temporarily unable to despatch items to overseas destinations," Royal Mail, one of the world's largest post and parcel firms, said in a service update on its website.

It advised customers to temporarily hold any export mail items while it works to resolve the issue. The company says thousands of businesses use it to export around the world.

Royal Mail, part of International Distributions Services Plc IDSI.L, said it was working with external experts to investigate the incident and had also reported it to regulators and security authorities.

Historical brand hit with hardship

The 507-year-old company, which was privatized in 2013, has faced a rocky year in which it lost millions of pounds due to lower mail volumes and was hit by a series of strikes by its staff in a long-running row over pay and conditions.

 Views of Poundbury in Dorchester (credit: REUTERS) Views of Poundbury in Dorchester (credit: REUTERS)

The Communication Workers Union (CWU), which represents more than 115,000 postal workers at Royal Mail, is planning further industrial action in the ongoing dispute, with a fresh ballot due to open later this month.

The "cyber incident" is the latest in a growing list of high-profile cybersecurity events in Britain.

The Twitter accounts of at least two senior government ministers appeared to have been hacked in recent weeks, while the Guardian newspaper said last month it had been hit by a "serious IT incident" believed to be a ransomware attack.

Royal Mail said its import services remained operational, albeit with minor delays.