CNN recently reported that the data breach of the IRS, which occurred between this past February and May, originated from Russia. The crooks were able to steal tax returns from over 100,000 people. The thieves filed a total of $50 million in tax refunds, having obtained personal data to get ahold of the data.
In other words, this crime wasn’t a hacking job. The Russians didn’t hack into the IRS’s network through some “back door” or social engineering scheme. They actually entered through the front door, using the personal data they had obtained.
Just how the breach came about is not yet known. The IRS’s Criminal Investigation Unit, plus the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, are trying to figure it all out. The FBI is also involved.
Americans have no reason to feel secure about the protection of their tax data. For years, there have been security concerns by the leaders, and this latest Russian incident has fueled the flames.
Orrin Hatch, the Republican Senate Finance Committee Chairman, has stated: “When the federal government fails to protect private and confidential taxpayer information, Congress must act.” This is not the first time that the Russians have caused a data breach for the U.S. government.
As for this latest incident, the Russian thieves had originally tried to get into the tax records of 200,000 people, but were only 50 percent successful—resulting in the breach of those 100,000 Americans.
However, the IRS intends on contacting every one of those 200,000 people about the attempt. This is because third parties may have these people’s Social Security numbers, among other personal data.
And what is the consolation for the 100,000 people whose tax records were obtained? The IRS said they will get free credit monitoring.
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.
- Latest Russian Cyber Attack on White House a Boon for CISA
The Russians have come…again—in the form of hackers. Not long ago Russian cyber criminals busted into the U.S.’s State Department system and mangled it for months. This time, they got into a computer system at the White House. Luckily, this system did not hold any classified information, but nevertheless, the hackers got ahold of President Obama’s
- Russian Organized Crime: Krem D’la Krem of Hackers
The Russians have definitely come…in the world of cybercrime. A Russian ring of hackers has amassed 1.2 billion stolen passwords and usernames involving 400,000 websites. The criminals have also garnered 542 million e-mail addresses. And these Russians didn’t discriminate: Any website they could bust into, they did, ranging from big U.S. companies to little websites—anything. Most
- Insurance Company fined BIG for Breach
Why would an insurance company be fined for a data breach? There was a security breach at Triple-S Salud, Inc. (TSS), which is a subsidiary of Triple-S Management GTS. The Puerto Rico Health Insurance Administration plans on imposing a $6.8 million fine on TSS. The breach involved 13,336 of TSS’s Dual Eligible Medicare beneficiaries. The penalty includes
- Utah Medicaid Breach Serves as Another Wakeup Call
An employee of the Utah State Department of technology must have hit the snooze button when he launched a test server that resulted in the breach of 780,000 Medicaid records including over 250,000 Social Security numbers. The Governor of Utah was quoted in the Salt Lake Tribune saying “Individuals provide sensitive personal information to the government in a relationship
- Credit Card Theft increasing for Banks and Retailers
2013 was the year of 740 million records involving data breaches. And that number may be erring quite on the conservative side, according to the Online Trust Alliance. The records come from a list on the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse Chronology Data Base. The list is that of publically disclosed breaches, including the alleged 110 million that struck