Security

IRS: Er, those 100,000 tax records illegally accessed? Make that over 700,000

Third 'hacking' review shows epic levels of fail

By Iain Thomson in San Francisco

29 SHARE

The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has admitted that its problem with "Get transcript" scammers is much worse than first thought – over seven times as bad to be precise.

In May of 2015, the IRS reported that around 100,000 people had had their tax returns and income forms sent out to criminals who gamed its "Get transcript" feature by providing stolen personal information between February and mid-May that year.

In August, that number rose by 220,000 following a further review. On Friday, America's most-disliked public agency said that number had risen to over 700,000, with another 295,000 attempts to steal taxpayer transcripts.

"The IRS is committed to protecting taxpayers on multiple fronts against tax-related identity theft, and these mailings are part of that effort," IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in a statement.

"We appreciate the work of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration to identify these additional taxpayers whose accounts may have been accessed. We are moving quickly to help these taxpayers."

On Monday, the IRS will start informing those affected by snail mail and the "Get Transcript" feature will remain closed until the mess has been sorted out. Where records have been stolen, the victims will get credit monitoring services free of charge for a year, and will also get a PIN code to lock down their accounts from further pillaging.

The agency will be sharing the details of its experience with government departments in other states as part of its Security Summit group, which seeks to pool information to stop fraud. Based on the current situation, the group has a lot of work to do. ®

Sign up to our NewsletterGet IT in your inbox daily

29 Comments

More from The Register

Microsoft might not support Windows XP any more, but GandCrab v4.1 ransomware does

Charming. First worm able to infect legacy systems has a module called 'network f*cker'

Facebook stuck with IRS bill after court tosses $7 BEEELLION appeal

Not even Zuckerberg can escape the tax man

India tells its banks to get Windows XP off ATMs – in 2019!

And do some pretty basic security hygiene before then

Microsoft to pay new bounties for identity services holes

If ye can board Microsoft accounts, Azure AD or even OpenID without the skipper knowing, loot be your reward

IRS tax bods tell Americans to chill out about Equifax

Your personal data was probably already in crims' hands

US taxmen pull plug on anti-identity-theft system used by identity thieves

That's not how this works, that's not how any of this works

It's US Tax Day, so of course the IRS's servers have taken a swan dive

Updated 59% of our systems are obsolete, agency boss tells congressional hearing

Mozilla extends, and ends, Firefox support for Windows XP and Vista

Even Extended Support Releases will be naked and alone as of June 2018

Microsoft devises new way of making you feel old: Windows NT is 25

Absurd hardware requirements and compatibility problems aplenty. Sound familiar?

Brit healthcare system inks Windows 10 install pact with Microsoft

Cash splashed from £150m cyber resilience pot