Monday, February 29, 2016
Cyber Hackers Accessed Over 700,000 Taxpayer Accounts
The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) announced on Friday that around 724,000 taxpayers' sensitive personal information was stolen in a cyber hack last year. This new estimate is more than double the agency's previous estimate. The IRS hack was first discovered last May and the IRS originally stated that 114,000 people's personal information had been breached in the hack. However, in August, the IRS raised its count to as many as 334,000 (Fortune).
It is believed that these hackers were able to access people's personal information through a "get transcript" feature on the agency's website that has since been disabled. Earlier this month, the IRS detected unauthorized efforts to gain access to more than 450,000 Social Security numbers and around 101,000 of those efforts were successful (US).
According to Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Operations, "The IRS doesn't have its house in order at any level" (US).
What do you think? What possible measures could be taken against these cyber hackers? Would IRS protection be better if we entrusted it to private businesses?