Congressman outraged that the administration swept IRS hack under the rug
In December, identity theives tried to work their way into the IRS computers to expose sensitive taxpayer information. They failed, but not until after they had used half a million stolen social security numbers to generate more than 100,000 PIN numbers. No taxpayer information fell into their hands, but it was a close call.
But the administration is only now getting around to informing Congress. On Tuesday, the IRS announced the hack, causing one Congressman to harshly criticize the agency and administration for not keeping congress informed of attacks on our cyber infrastructure.
The breach occurred in December. According to a Tuesday statement revealing the incident, the attack has been halted and no personal taxpayer information was exposed during the attempted hack.
“It’s no coincidence that on President Obama’s watch, two federal agencies within the past year have suffered large-scale and inexcusable breaches in security,” Daines said, an apparent reference to an earlier breach at the IRS and the massive hack of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
In August, the IRS revealed that hackers had been able to swipe sensitive information about more than 300,000 taxpayers.
Last summer, the OPM uncovered the digital theft of the personal information of over 22 million former and current federal employees, contractors and others.
Both incidents have sparked lawmaker outrage over the endemic use of outdated and insecure software at many federal agencies.
Daines’s critique comes the day after the White House unveiled sweeping cybersecurity provisions in its 2017 budget request, including a 35 percent increase in funding.
How confident can we be in the IRS claim that no taxpayer info got into the hands of the theives? When OPM first announced the hack into their government employee database, they claimed that only 4 million records were accessed. A few weeks later, we learned the actual number was closer to 20 million.
The track record of this administration in admitting the truth about hackers busting into our systems is not good. You have to wonder about the security of healthcare.gov, the Obamacare website. Given the massive problems in getting the site working, how confident are you that the administration would tell us if there was a breach?