Ha! This is neat, good ole’ Canada –
Many USA ecommerce shops don’t send their goods to Russia or to the countries of the Ex-USSR.
Some shops send but delivery costs differ greatly from the homeland ones, they are usually much bigger.
So what did some Russians invented? They got a way to fool the delivery.
It’s no secret that many bigger shops use electronic systems processing orders. So in order to see if this address is in USA or Canada it uses ZIP code, state or province name and words “USA” or “CANADA”.
So what was possible to do is to put totally Russian address in the order delivery form, like: Moscow, Lenin St. 20, Russia in the address fields, usually there is a plenty of space to enter long things like this, and in the field country they put Canada in the field ZIP code Â Canadian zip code.
What happens next? The parcel travels to Canada, to the area to which the specified ZIP code belongs and there postal workers just see it’s not a Canadian address but Russian. They consider it to be some sort of mistake and forward it further, to Russia.
36 thoughts on “U.S Post office hacking”
Now… Isn’t that Fraud, Cheating, Con-Job, Thief?
awesome. now make suggests breaking a federal law.
hey guys let me crystal clear here – i’m **reporting** what’s going on – no where did i say try it. if you’re a robot and consider this a command you must do, please seek your manufacturer now, thanks :)
I hear and obey…click…click…whirrrrrrrr….
um…we have postal codes, not zip codes, here in canada.
just so you know.
What a smarmy and irritating thing to express.
First, what federal law is being broken? And in which country? Cite, please.
Second, do you think every federal law is just? Are you a fan of the Patriot Act? How about the Digital Millenium Copyright Act? Do you blindly obey all of the questionable things that have been shoehorned into federal law over the past few years?
As for whether it’s ethical to place a financial burden on the Canadian postal system because some US-based e-commerce shops won’t ship to Russia — that’s open to debate. And wholly unaddressed by your comment.
And Torrone is completely correct: Don’t shoot the messenger. There’s a clear difference between reportage and advocacy.
Here’s a better trick for you.
Send mail without stamps or postage but have the return address be the real destination. The USPS will ‘return’ it correctly, it’ll just be marked ‘No Postage.’
Actually, this type of hacking doesn’t really “Make” anything, so I don’t think it qualifies as an on topic entry.
You could order the flat rate boxes that USPS delivers free of charge to your home, and use them to build something, like a packing station, or tool organizer. That would be a hack worthy of Make :^)
BTW: I have 20 of those boxes in two sizes in my garage right now. If I think of something cool, I’ll let you know!
how people work around systems and subvert them is definitely something we’ll cover here.
When the system being subverted is something you take on yourself (i.e. a warranty voider) I see no problem. When the system takes money out of someones pocket, there lies the problem.
If you don’t want to pay the post office to ship your package, don’t use the post office.
Phillip, your comment about **reporting** what’s going on is without suggesting that someone **does it** is irresponsible. If I **reported** your home address, how to break into your house and where you kept your valuables, I think you would take issue with it.
@ham, well – we’re not talking about my home address. this is a story from a security site about how some people are getting around sending items to russia from the usa. is it right/wrong? that’s the fun part to discuss in the comments.
it’s interesting, that’s it – really. my home address, not so much, the only thing that goes on here is a guy alone in a room for days on end :)
@PT, you live like a rock star, admit it. One of these days Violet Blue is going to write a book about you.
@JohnCabrer, this hack make something better, it makes freedom.
@sam, if by rock star you mean someone who just works 24/7, stays at home as much as possible and doesn’t have a classically defined “life” then yes, i rock out like no other :)
occasionally i get dizzy from solder fumes, so that’s almost like a drug habit.
that said, i do hope violet writes a book about me one day, she’s an excellent author. it would be a boring book though.
@PT, I’m sorry but that’s just not going to cut it. I want to hear about stuff like you and Bre’ in the fire engine fighting crimes with crazy maker skills. Kind of like a cross between Howtoons and Carl & Jerry, with a dash of Lethal Weapon. Bre’ is all by the book, and you’re the loose cannon. Picture the two of you at the end of the credit sequence leaping toward the camera just as something behind you explodes, freeze frame. I think that’s a little more in line with what I expect when I hear the title “Senior Editor”.
@TheThompsonFive – hah! this is awesome!
ok, my promise, more of that. man, i’m glad i’m the loose cannon.
In addition to copying the article from Schneier on Security, they also copied the misleading headline.
This isn’t hacking the U.S. Post Office; all USPS did is deliver the package to the country it was addressed to.
I guess “Canadian Post Office hacking” doesn’t sound quite so clever.
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