June 19, 2015

News You Can Use: IRS Hacked; 100,000 Tax Accounts Compromised

The IRS has announced that criminals gained unauthorized access to its “Get Transcript” application between February and mid-May. Approximately 100,000 tax accounts were accessed.

To get this access, the people involved gained information from an outside source before attempting to access the IRS site. The IRS believes that this information, including Social Security number, date of birth, tax filing status, and street address. According to Rob Roy, chief technology officer of HP Enterprise Security Products, the information that the hackers used to gain access to the IRS site was probably previously stolen by other hackers and then sold on the open market.

Was my information compromised?

The IRS is in the process of notifying all taxpayers whose information was accessed. They will provide free credit monitoring for these taxpayers. Additionally, the Get Transcript application has been shut down.

What should I do?

According to IBM, over 1 billion records containing personally identifiable information were compromised in 2014. Medical records aren’t immune – half a million people were victims of medical identity theft in 2014. Identity theft is becoming less a question of “if” and more a question of “when”.

Good $ense recommends that part of any well-rounded insurance plan should include identity theft protection. For more information related to identity theft and some steps you can take to protect yourself, see http://blog.credit.com/2015/05/5-identity-theft-facts-that-will-terrify-you-116875/.

Credits

Information in this article was taken from

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2015/05/26/irs-breach-100000-accounts-get-transcript/27980049/

And

http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Statement-on-the-Get-Transcript-Application