• IRS Hit by Cyber-Attack, Info from 100,000 Taxpayers Stolen

    Information on more than 100,000 taxpayers was stolen from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Commissioner John Koskinen said Tuesday.

    Koskinen insists the breach didn’t affect most average taxpayers and the information they file in their annual returns.

    “This is not a security breach. Our basic information is secure,” Koskinen said in in a press conference.

    Thousands of fraudulent returns were filed under the attack which he said allegedly came from online access by hackers, who Koskinen described as part of an organized crime syndicate.

    The hackers attempted to access information from 200,000 taxpayers, and succeeded in about 104,000 cases. Of those, fraudulent refunds were filed in thousands of cases — though the commissioner said it’s likely to be fewer than 15,000. He said the fraudsters appeared to be storing data for possible future use.

    Final details about the amount the criminals stole is not available, though Koskinen predicted it will be less than $50 million.

    The IRS is sending out notices to those they have determined were affected by the breach, and has opened a criminal investigation into the operation.

    Thieves accessed an online program provided by the IRS called “Get Transcript” to gain access to taxpayer information, including their full tax returns dating back five or more years. The Get Transcript application had been highly touted in 2014 as a step in President Obama’s attempts to streamline government, and the agency had insisted at the time that it was taking strong security steps.

    The IRS said thieves targeted the system from February to mid-May. The service has been temporarily shut down. Congress was alerted to the breach last week, but kept the information quiet to allow investigators to pursue the case.

    Alicia Powe

    Staff Writer

    Alicia Powe is a staff writer for Daily Surge. She worked in the War Room of the Rudy Giuliani Presidential Committee and served as a White House Intern during the George W. Bush administration. Alicia has written for numerous outlets, including Human Events, Media Research Center and Townhall.com.

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