IRS Data Breach Linked to Russia

Friday, July 3, 2015
The latest cyber breach by the IRS may be linked to Russia.  The attack which was discovered last week revealed that cyber criminals stole the tax returns of over 100,000 taxpayers.   The IRS is reiterating that his is a major issue regardless of where the attack originated.  The main issue is that taxpayer’s information was compromised from an IRS platform. Yes, it is even worse that it came from Russia’s hand.  The crime is believed to have occurred in Russia after the realization that the same Russian hackers breached systems in both the White House and State Department.

The cyber criminals used taxpayer’s personal information to obtained access their tax information on an IRS Get Transcript site between February and May of this year.  The attempted to access more than 200,000 taxpayer’s accounts, but only half of those were successful.  The IRS will take action by notifying everyone that the cyber criminals had Social Security numbers and other personal information for.  To attempt to rectify the situation, those taxpayers who had tax information actually accessed will be offered free credit monitoring.

They cyber criminals used this information to file fake tax refunds to the IRS in the amount of $50 million.  The IRS system was not hacked per se.  Because the cyber criminals used taxpayer’s personal data that they stole through other means, they basically used the IRS Get Transcript website to log in using the stolen identities of taxpayers.

The FBI, IRS, the Treasury Inspector General and the Department of Homeland Security are investigating the breach.  No further information from the IRS was given.  The federal government wants answers though.  Senate Finance Committee Chairs want to know who is to blame for this breach and how it could have been avoided altogether.

Over the years, the IRS has made the security of taxpayer data a priority.  At times, however, it has been a major source of headaches at the IRS.  Since the use of computers and online interactions, computer security has been on the IRS’ agenda as problems to be alert of and to take action on.  The federal government needs to act quickly when it fails at protecting taxpayer’s confidential and personal identifying information.  

We are the Strategic Tax Lawyers, LLP and we can assist you with your tax problems.  We are professional business tax lawyers with years of experience in tax-related and IRS issues.  Call the Strategic Tax Lawyers at (800) 669-4775 for a free consultation to assist you with your tax-related matters.