IRS kills off PINs citing increasing suspicious activity

Pulls plug early

America's Internal Revenue Service has brought forward the discontinuation of the electronic filing PIN that was supposed to protect customers.

After an embarrassing security breach in February of this year, it issued PINs to millions of Americans to try and protect what secrets they still had.

That program was suspended in March after scammers got their hands on enough PINs to file 800 fraudulent returns.

It resumed using the PINs because it's used in “almost all commercial software” that helps Americans file tax returns.

Now, the IRS has identified further dodgy activity using the PINs, and has decided to cease using them immediately.

“Recently, the IRS observed additional automated attacks taking place at an increasing frequency, but only affecting a small number of e-File PINs”, its statement says.

“We were able to identify this issue because of additional defences put in place earlier this year, and backend protections remain in place. However, the IRS decided to remove the e-File PIN program as a safety measure.”

The PINs were already on the end-of-life list, and the IRS believes only a small number of users will be affected. ®


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