Hackers stole information on 100,000 taxpayers from the online computers of the US Internal Revenue Service, the federal tax agency said Tuesday.
The IRS said the unidentified cyber thieves used information on the specific taxpayers from sources outside the agency to access the accounts, which included crucial identifying information such as birth dates, addresses and social security numbers.
“These third parties gained sufficient information from an outside source before trying to access the IRS site, which allowed them to clear a multi-step authentication process, including several personal verification questions that typically are only known by the taxpayer,” the agency said.
The IRS said the theft involved its online “Get Transcript” system, which allows users to view all their transactions and reports with the agency.
The hackers tried to access about 200,000 accounts between February and mid-May, and were successful in about half those attempts.
The IRS said the “Get Transcript” service is on a separate computer system than the one that handles online tax submissions for millions of Americans each year.
“That system remains secure,” it said.
It said it has shut down the “Get Transcript” service, and its inspector general and criminal investigation offices were reviewing the case.
It did not identify the source of the information that allowed hackers to enter the accounts.
The agency is notifying owners of all 200,000 accounts to warn them about the hacking and provide free credit monitoring for those whose accounts were entered.
“It’s possible that some of these transcript accesses were made with an eye toward using them for identity theft for next year’s tax season.”
Trump campaign mocked after unveiling new red hats: ‘Do you have arm bands as well?’
President Donald Trump's 2016 "Make America Great Again" hats have been replaced with new "Keep America Great" hats.
Trump re-election campaign manager Brad Parscale modeled one of the hats on Twitter.
Here is some of what people were saying:
Here I made an arm band design for you pic.twitter.com/inTyqVi2wo
— Christopher Goodwin (@LazarusLeBaron) August 25, 2019
‘This will not end well’: Far-right extremism expert warns of Trump’s intensifying authoritarianism
An expert on the far-right in America warned of President Donald Trump's "genuinely dangerous levels" of authoritarianism on Saturday.
Author David Neiwert posted a long Twitter thread on the commander-in-chief's "Social Dominance Orientation" -- and warned it will not end well.
Neiwert is the author of the 2017 book Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump.
Here is the thread he posted:
‘The Mooch’ attended Biden fundraiser in the Hamptons — because Trump ‘has lost his mind’
Former White House press secretary Anthony Scaramucci attended a fundraiser for former Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday.
CBS News reporter Ben Mitchell posted a photo of Scaramucci at the event, and subsequently interviewed "The Mooch."
Scaramucci said he was still a registered Republican, but added that Trump "has lost his mind."