Date
27 May 2017
People wait outside an IRS office in New York on May 27. The US tax agency said on Tuesday that information on about 100,000 taxpayers was illegally accessed by cyber criminals over the past four months. Photo: Reuters
People wait outside an IRS office in New York on May 27. The US tax agency said on Tuesday that information on about 100,000 taxpayers was illegally accessed by cyber criminals over the past four months. Photo: Reuters

US tax agency believes hacker attack originated in Russia: CNN

The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) believes a hacker attack that led to the theft of personal information on more than 100,000 US taxpayers originated in Russia, CNN reported on Wednesday, citing sources. 

The tax agency’s Criminal Investigation Unit is leading a probe into the incident, in which criminals stole information over four months this year, the report said.

The Department of Homeland Security and the Treasury Department’s inspector general are also said to be looking into the cyber attack.

On Tuesday, the IRS announced that attackers used an IRS online service to steal tax return information on about 104,000 households. 

It did not comment on the identities of the hackers but said it believes that some organized crime syndicates were behind the activity. 

Between February and May, criminals tried to access the tax accounts of 200,000 people, succeeding in about half the attempts, the IRS said.

The tax agency said it plans to notify all 200,000 people to tell them that third parties appear to have access to their Social Security numbers and other personal information, Reuters reported.

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