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Thieves hack IRS, steal tax info from more than 100,000 taxpayers

Published May 26th, 2015 4:45PM EDT
IRS Hack 100,000 Taxpayers' Data Stolen

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Gulp. This isn’t good. The Associated Press reports that the Internal Revenue Service admitted on Tuesday that thieves had hacked into one of its systems and had managed to swipe tax information from more than 100,000 American taxpayers. According to the AP, the IRS says that the thieves “used an online service provided by the IRS to gain access to information from more than 100,000 taxpayers.”

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The good news here is that the IRS says that in order to gain access to this information, the thieves already needed to know a lot of specific information about their targets, including their Social Security numbers, their street addresses and their tax filing statuses. The IRS says that this hack did “not involve its main computer system that handles tax filing submission; that system remains secure.”

In all, the IRS estimates that thieves tried to improperly access tax information of around 200,000 filers, which means they had roughly a 50% success rate when hacking into the system. The IRS says that it’s started notifying the people affected by the hack, who were also already vulnerable to identity theft since the thieves were already in possession of their Social Security numbers.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.