IRS Commissioner John Koskinen admitted in a press conference this week that that hackers had successfully breached the agency’s security protocol to obtain sensitive personal information of at least 104,000 taxpayers.
The access was gained via the IRS’s ‘Get Transcript’ feature on the agency’s website. It allows
taxpayers to download previous tax filings. Koskinen reported that the breach was underway for a full 90 days before IT officials realized what was going on.
Although the breach represented a small fraction of the reported 23-million legitimate downloads each year, the obtained personal information was used to file fraudulent tax returns. This came at a cost to the government totaling $50 million dollars.
The admission further scuffs the agency’s credibility amid oversight from Congress both for the ongoing political targeting scandal and for its misappropriation of funds which resulted in more than two-thirds of taxpayers calls going unanswered in the run-up to the April 15th filing deadline.