The massive breach of the IRS’s website early in the year was admitted by the agency to have resulted in the theft of private information of over 100,000 taxpayers.
According to initial reports, the breach resulted in the payout of at least $50 million in fraudulent tax refunds that resulted from the use of taxpayer information.
This week the IRS revealed the breach was much worse than previously thought with an additional 220,000 taxpayers falling prey to the cyber-thieves’ exploits.
The agency estimates that in 2013 alone, the IRS paid out nearly $6 billion in fraudulent tax refunds, which pales in comparison the budget cuts over which Commissioner John Koskinen and congressional leaders traded barbs in April.
The update on the breach adds more political fuel to the firestorm raging in the nation’s capitol over the federal government’s repeated failure to secure critical networks against similarly breaches.
The details follow the revelation just weeks ago of a breach, ostensibly by the Chinese, of the system controlled by the Office of Personnel Management in which at least 21 million U.S. citizens’ information was accessed.