Electronic hackers have breached a website belonging to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.
Via its online service called “Get Transcript”, Hackers used already obtained personal data, to break into the “Get Transcript” service, a website used to view tax transactions online and downloading tax information for applications for things like mortgages and college financial aid.
The IRS said in a statement that from February through mid-May, hackers gained access to tax returns and other tax information on file. The IRS’ main computer system that handles tax filings wasn’t compromised.
Hackers were able to access personal information from more than 100,000 taxpayer accounts, including Social Security numbers, addresses and dates of birth, to claim tax refunds for almost 15,000 people.
The IRS discovered it’s latest data leak last week when it first detected a unusual activity requesting large amounts of information from the Get Transcript portal. Authorities believe the information the hackers used to get into the IRS website was previously stolen by other hackers who then sold it on the open market and their real intention was to gather vast amounts of personal information so they can open bank accounts, credit lines and steal tax refunds in the future.