With certified snail mail, you have a way of making sure your communication is reaching the intended party. With certified email, it’s the same–until it’s not, because hackers have struck.

Launched on November 12, the cyberattack targeted a server in Rome that housed certified email for the public administration, reports Reuters. Magistrates and top government agents were among the 500,000 accounts that were exposed.

Certified email is practiced currently in Hong Kong and Italy, according to Wikipedia. Typically, a trusted third-party vendor serves as a mediator between the sender and receiver. Reuters explains, “Certified emails guarantee the validity of a sender’s identity, as well as the date and time of sending and receiving the email, giving them a clear legal status.”

Saying the situation is now under control, the person in charge of state cybersecurity also said that the attack was not launched from Italy.

Get the full story at Reuters.