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Mail Threats in 2020

What’s next?

We’ve made it our mission to protect the world from mail-borne threats as much as possible.

Mail threats represent an unaddressed physical security gap, harming people and organizations every day. 

We’re trying to keep people safe — Here’s how.

Threat Delivery Methods

ATF 5-Year Trend Data

Delivery types stay within historical levels. They lean heavily toward small, innocuous packages.

There is, however, a 95% increase in letters, parcels and powders between 2017 and 2018 indicating a shift in the general methodologies of attack.

The pattern of these mail threats, and the approach of their perpetrators, is to hide in plain sight.

If their packages can blend in with other harmless mail, they stand a better chance of reaching their target.

And, unfortunately, it works.

Threat Target Types

ATF 5-Year Trend: Business, Edu, Residential

Businesses, educational institutions, and residences are the most common targets. All 3 saw an increase from 2017 to 2018.

The 5-year trend shows a downward trend in overall targeting of businesses and residential areas.

The educational site targeting continues to show historically erratic incidents.

Government and law enforcement locations report their data differently (or not at all), so it’s possible that these numbers are missing some context.

Hoaxes + Threats

ATF 5-Year Trend Data

The 5-year trend demonstrates a steady reduction in hoax threats and an increase in real threats.

This statistical combination suggests a trend of increased lethality—the worst possible outcome.

While significantly less common than real threats, hoaxes are still very common.

They are intended to cause only panic—not real harm—but they are still criminal, and still very disruptive to daily life.

Most Targeted Sites

RaySecur 2019 Data

One third of targets are government facilities. 22% are businesses, and 25% are public transportation or spaces.

In capturing and analyzing possible threats, we focus on types of targets.

Our data is collected by our real-time 3D imaging systems and private IoT network.

Therefore our numbers reflect slightly different patterns than the larger ATF database.

Most Targeted Days

RaySecur 2019 Data

The data demonstrates that every day of the week mail handlers deal with suspect packages of one type or another.

However, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the days most likely for these occurrences to happen. A full 41% of incidents occur on these two days.

However, Thursday-Sunday sees a precipitous drop in events in that less than 40% of all events occur on these days.

Of course the USPS weekly schedule affects these patterns, but it seems that even mail threat perpetrators take a break on weekends.

Threat Delivery Methods

RaySecur 2019 Real-Time Imaging Data

42% of recorded incidents utilize letters while 18% rely on parcels.

Other delivery methods include bags, boxes, pressure cookers, and pipe bombs.

But the numbers are clear— the majority of mail-borne threats come in small sizes.

60% of these suspect packages can and should be screened and deterred by the MailSecur.

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Items scanned by MailSecur

Mail Security by the numbers

We’ve made it our mission to protect the world from mail-borne threats as much as possible.

Mail threats represent an unaddressed physical security gap, harming people and organizations every day. 

We’re trying to keep people safe — Here’s how.