Hackers were able to access tax-return credentials for 101,000 social security numbers—and that figure could potentially rise as investigators seek to find out what exactly happened.
The IRS issued a statement and said that it would notify the affected taxpayers via mail that their information was compromised. The statement read, in part:
The IRS recently identified and halted an automated attack upon its Electronic Filing PIN application on IRS.gov. Using personal data stolen elsewhere outside the IRS, identity thieves used malware in an attempt to generate E-file PINs for stolen social security numbers. An E-file pin is used in some instances to electronically file a tax return. No personal taxpayer data was compromised or disclosed by IRS systems. The IRS also is taking immediate steps to notify affected taxpayers by mail that their personal information was used in an attempt to access the IRS application. The IRS is also protecting their accounts by marking them to protect against tax-related identity theft. IRS cybersecurity experts are currently assessing the situation, and the IRS is working closely with other agencies and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. The IRS also is sharing information with its Security Summit state and industry partners.