Friday, December 2, 2016

Personal Data

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IRS-get-hacked

Here’s a scary thought: internet thieves could have all of your tax information–including sensitive and classified data like Social Security numbers.

More than 100,000 records in total were breached, the IRS quietly announced the security breach on Tuesday. The data was stolen between February and mid-May, meaning that virtually anyone who filed taxes for the bulk of tax season could be at risk.

According to the IRS, the breach occured when thieves cleared security and accessed a system called “Get Transcript,” which allowed them to download personal information.

More than 200,000 taxpayers were actually targeted–and still may be compromised–but, as of now, the IRS commisioner John Koskinen said that as far as they can tell only about half of the hack attempts were successful. Meaning that 100,000 were hacked for sure, and another 100,000 the IRS just doesn’t know yet.

Tax returns are one of the most sure-fire ways to steal an identity because it includes almost all of a person’s government data: social security number, date of birth, pension numbers, list of dependents. While not everything was compromised during the hack, the IRS admitted that the thieves got away with a great deal of personal information about their victims.

Koskinen said that the hackers are the real deal: “These are actually organized crime syndicates that not only we but everyone in the financial industry are dealing with.”

So, if you filed taxes between February and May, be alert: hackers could be after your identity.

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