Earlier this week, it was reported that the IRS had been hacked and the tax returns for more than 100,000 people were swiped. That reality has not changed, but now there’s a potential culprit: Russian hackers. The news was stated by Illinois Rep. Peter Roskam, who serves as the chairman of a House subcommittee that oversees the IRS. The news itself reportedly was given to him by IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, who relayed the breach’s Russian origins in a phone call.
The information was ultimately, then, given to CNN, which is pointing toward the Russian hackers as the cause. Whether that is correct is not independently verified (and likely never will be), but regardless the breach was a serious one, and was said to be the result of “sophisticated” ne’erdowells.
The biggest issue is that the IRS wasn’t hacked in the traditional sense — it was, rather, used to illicitly gain money via the use of stolen personal data. Details on US persons was obtained through some external source, then was used to file for tax returns totaling $50 million or so.
The breach is being inspected by multiple government agencies. Said Rep. Roskam, “It’s a problem, no matter where it’s coming from, for the taxpayers and the IRS. It surely doesn’t help matters though that it’s coming from Russia for all the obvious geopolitical reasons.”