Feeds

HMRC calls for more care with tax log-in details

Don't lose your details: That's our job

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs is warning users of its online filing system that they need to keep their log-in details as safe as they would a PIN for a cash card.

The warning comes because a small number of users have had their details and passwords used to make fraudulent claims. But the Revenue remains confident in the security of its systems and has no intention of changing them. People wishing to file their tax return online must register online and then await the postal delivery of an activation code.

A spokesman for HMRC said:

Our IT and online systems remain safe and secure. Criminals, however, constantly target computer users with viruses and phishing attacks and have managed to get hold of a small number of users' details and passwords and made fraudulent claims for tax repayments. We are working closely with the people affected and the police to tackle the threat of this kind of organised e-crime, and we urge all our customers to take extra care with passwords and other forms of identification.

There is no reason to believe that the users' security details that have been used fraudulently were obtained from HMRC."

Despite some problems dealing with demand last year, the Revenue still saw 5.8m people file their returns online.

In other news, the Revenue denied reports that it was considering offshoring the processing of UK tax returns in order to save costs. HMRC is currently engaged in "Project Quantum" to cut spending on technology. It is negotiating with suppliers Capgemini and others to reduce costs.

But the official line is: "The contract does not permit IT services to be delivered from outside of the UK and we currently have no plans to change this. Data security is always of paramount importance to HMRC and we would in no way compromise this."

Of course a cynic might say that there are no plans in place yet because the review is ongoing. And given HMRC's lamentable data security record it could easily be argued that sending taxpayer details to India is safer than leaving them in the hands of the Rev. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.