IRS: Tax breach much worse than originally thought

The cyberattack on U.S. taxpayer data reported by the Internal Revenue Service earlier this year now appears to be much worse than originally thought, the agency announced Monday, with as many as 300,000 citizens now believed to be potential victims.

The cyberattack on U.S. taxpayer data reported by the Internal Revenue Service earlier this year now appears to be much worse than originally thought, the agency announced Monday, with as many as 300,000 citizens now believed to be potential victims.

Whereas in May the IRS reported that sensitive information of about roughly 100,000 taxpayers had been stolen by thieves through its "Get Transcript" online application, its latest estimates more than double that number. It's now believed that the thieves potentially gained access to more than 300,000 taxpayer accounts after attempting to breach more than 600,000.

To gain access to the information, the thieves first stole information including Social Security details, dates of birth and street addresses from an outside, non-IRS source. They then used that information to clear a multistep authentication process in the app and access personal tax data on the IRS site.

The Get Transcript app was shut down in May.

In the next few days, the IRS will begin notifying the 220,000 or so newly affected taxpayers. It will also send notifications to approximately 170,000 other households whose personal information could be at risk even though the thieves apparently failed in their efforts to access it through the IRS system.

The IRS is offering free credit protection and "Identity Protection PINs" to those affected.

“The IRS takes the security of taxpayer data extremely seriously," the agency said. "We are working to continue to strengthen security for `Get Transcript,’ including by enhancing taxpayer-identity authentication protocols.”

The breach remains under review by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration as well as the IRS Criminal Investigation unit.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags security

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Katherine Noyes

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?