The IRS have announced a breach in one of their systems that stores data from old tax returns called Get Transcript.
Immediately after the announcement, the IRS was accused of skipping critical steps that could have prevented the breach in the first place.
At this time, in response to the breach, the agency is contacting 390,000 households who they have found to be a target warning them about identity thieves. This new number of households affected by the cyber-attack is more than double what the IRS originally released as those that they thought were affected, according to Sentinel Republic.
These households whose information was breached face possible or potential loss of their personal information to the attackers. At this time, the agency is offering free credit protection and Identity Protection PINs to all of the victims.
The IRS has reported that the information taken was from its data base as well as personal information stolen from other sources, all which could assist the thieves in claiming fraudulent tax refunds in the future.
The IRS said it is “moving aggressively to protect taxpayers whose account information may have been accessed.”
At this time, the IRS stands at their statement that 330,000 total accounts were hacked, and that they deterred another 170,000 additional accounts from being accessed by the hackers.
After an extensive review of the situation, the IRS said that they had identified “more questionable attempts to obtain transcripts using sensitive information already in the hands of criminals.”
They have also said that taxpayers can disregard the notification from them if they were actually the ones who were seeking a copy of their return information.
At this time, the cyber-attack scandal is fully under the review of the IRS Criminal Investigation department as well as the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.