100,000 Taxpayers have the their data compromised
June 1, 2015
As you may have heard by now, the IRS issued a statement in which it announced that criminals gained unauthorized access to information on approximately 100,000 tax accounts through IRS's “Get Transcript” application. The data included taxpayers' Social Security information, date of birth, and street address.
It's important to realize that perpetrators gained sufficient information from an outside source before trying to access the IRS site, which allowed them to clear a multi-step authentication process that includes several personal verification questions that supposed to be known only by the taxpayer. The matter is under review by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration as well as IRS's Criminal Investigation unit, and the “Get Transcript” application has been shut down temporarily.
In addition to disabling the Get Transcript application, IRS has taken a number of immediate steps to protect taxpayers, including:
. . . Notifying all 200,000 potential victims of what happened
. . . Offering free credit monitoring for the approximately 100,000 taxpayers whose Get Transcript accounts were accessed to ensure this information isn't being used through other financial avenues.
Senate Finance Chairman Hatch comments. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said in a statement, “That the IRS – home to highly sensitive information on every single American and every single company doing business here at home – was vulnerable to this attack is simply unacceptable. What's more, this agency has been repeatedly warned by top government watchdogs that its data security systems are inadequate against the growing threat of international hackers and data thieves.” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen notified Hatch of the data breach late last week.
Bottom line - please take steps to monitor and protect your identity.