IRS hit with lawsuit over recent taxpayer data hack

The massive IRS data breach has resulted in a lawsuit from affected taxpayers. The hack was announced in May, and affected about 330,000 (or more) taxpayers who used the IRS' "Get Transcript" service. The hackers, who are said to have originated from Russia, made off with sensitive personal details, including social security numbers and home addresses. Using this information, the hackers then spoofed tax paperwork and were able to steal millions in refunds.

The lawsuit, according to Bloomberg, was filed by two women in Texas who, it seems, are seeking class-action status; reportedly their lawsuit seeks to represent all taxpayers who were affected by the security breach. Originally it was believed about 100,000 people were affected, but the numbers were later revised to 330,000, and sources have cropped since then saying the figure may be above the half-million mark.

According to the lawsuit, which was filed late last week, "the U.S. government cannot be relied upon to keep the personal data of its citizens safe." The damages sought by the lawsuit are unspecified, and are related to the taxpayers' loss of control over the personal data.

The IRS has not commented on the lawsuit at this time. However, it did reveal some current efforts to mitigate further damage in a statement to Bloomberg, stating that it is sending letters to approximately 220,000 individuals that may have had their data compromised in the breach, as well as 170,000 households that will be informed their data could be at risk despite the ID thieves failing "to access the IRS system."

SOURCE: Bloomberg