USA (Next Media) – Hackers gained access to more than 100,000 IRS accounts after compromising an online service on the Internal Revenue Service website.
The IRS’ ‘Get Transcript’ application has been temporarily shut down after hackers accessed more than 100,000 IRS accounts between February and mid-May. The hackers used the IRS’ ‘Get Transcript’ application to retrieve individual filing histories.
Hackers may have bought information about individual taxpayers, such as social security numbers and addresses, from other hackers in an online marketplace. They then used this information to clear the multi-step authentication process on the Internal Revenue Service website before gaining access to the ‘Get Transcript’ application.
The hackers tried to hack into more than 200,000 IRS accounts and were successful in more than half of their attempts. The hackers have already claimed tax refunds for some of the accounts. The hackers may use the information to open bank accounts as well as steal tax refunds in the future.
By downloading these transcripts, the hackers now have access to information that allows them to better masquerade as a legitimate taxpayer and file more fraudulent tax returns.
SOURCES: USA Today, Ars Technica, CNN, The Washington Post