The criminals were able to obtain taxpayer information from other sources and use it to answer personal identity questions on the website. People's date of birth, social security information and street addresses were some of the different types of information stolen. The hackers used The Get Transcript Application to gain access to taxpayer information.
The Get Transcript Application allows people to view their tax return, wages and incomes reported to the IRS and tax account information on the IRS website. It is estimated that 23 million people used the Get Transcript Application last year in order to access their tax information.
One of the reasons that the hackers were able to use the access the Get Transcript Application was because it is relatively simple to access. In order to start the process, one must provide a valid email address and social security number. After the email address and social security number is verified, the person will then be asked a series of questions about tax, personal and financial information.
This type of authentication is very vulnerable to fraud. Anyone who is willing to pay for data that stolen from a... ...read full post