Cover image from teapartyorg
Back in May, the IRS revealed that a little over 100,000 taxpayers’ information was stolen from their servers via a sophisticated hack out of Russia. Now, the IRS is reporting that the thieves stole private taxpayer information of more than 334,000 American households. From the Associated Press:
The thieves accessed a system called “Get Transcript,” where taxpayers can get tax returns and other filings from previous years. In order to access the information, the thieves cleared a security screen that required knowledge about the taxpayer, including Social Security number, date of birth, tax filing status and street address, the IRS said.
The personal information was presumably stolen from other sources. The IRS believes the thieves were accessing the IRS website to get even more information about the taxpayers, which could help them claim fraudulent tax refunds in the future.
Isn’t that reassuring. [Please, tell me the sarcasm tag is not needed.] Now, not only do Americans have to keep an eye on their credit reports, we also have to be vigilant about Russian creeps filing phony tax returns. Fabulous.
Naturally, the IRS is trying to reassure the public that their information is safe with them, but….
“As it did in May, the IRS is moving aggressively to protect taxpayers whose account information may have been accessed,” the IRS said in a statement. “The IRS will begin mailing letters in the next few days to about 220,000 taxpayers where there were instances of possible or potential access to `Get Transcript’ taxpayer account information.”
In all, the thieves used personal information from about 610,000 taxpayers in an effort to access old tax returns. They were successful in getting information from about 334,000 taxpayers.
WHOA! That’s a lot MORE personal information that thieves have their hands on. Wow. 276,000 more than the hack itself were tried and didn’t work. Seriously, how twisted does one have to be to write a program to extract that kind of data for nefarious purposes? Someone seriously does NOT have a well-formed conscience.
To be fair, the last time this happened, in 2012, the refunds for the actual fraudulent tax returns were sent to addresses in Lithuania and China, but still, if Americans’ vital and very private identification and tax information is kept by the IRS from year to year, why is it not more secure than Hillary Clinton’s email? Next thing we know, people posing as the actual victims of the hack are going to cross the southern border with paperwork manufactured in Guatemala.