The Internal Revenue Service announced that there might be up to 100,000 taxpayers whose personal information was compromised. This phenomenon is the cause of a hacking operation. Digital thieves found a weakness in a tool that citizens use to apply for student loans. By taking advantage of the weakness, the security breach allowed hackers to steal as much as $30 million from the government.
IRS Is Weakened Due to a Lower Budget and Fewer Agents
On Thursday, IRS divulged one of the largest identity thefts since the year of 2015. The authorities caught suspicious activity on one of the most useful tools for families. People used to employ Data Retrieval Tool to get their tax information on FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Thus, IRS had to shut down this tool as early as March to the outrage of students who wanted to fill in their FAFSA forms.
Over the last years, IRS had control over an incrementally diminished budget. Together with a lower number of agents, IRS has it harder to sustain its defense against cyber threats. Moreover, while the agency is growing weaker, the digital villains are gathering more forces through sophisticated technology.
However, the same technique used this tax season enabled cyber thieves to steal data from 300,000 citizens in the year of 2015 as well. IRS authorities viewed this FAFSA tool as a security compromise. However, the utility of this application prevented them from shutting it down until the very last moment. Aid applicants are almost entirely dependent on FAFSA. Thanks to it, they can fill in applications with complex tax information in an automatic way.
The FAFSA Security Breach Gave Republicans another Context to Ask Koskinen’s Discharge
The probability is that students will be able to use the tool again as late as the month of October. The IRS commissioner, John Koskinen, intends to secure the safety of all taxpayers before enabling students to apply for their aid support again. The commissioner has now to answer difficult questions to the extent of the latest massive identity theft.
As a consequence, Republicans renewed their request for commissioner Koskinen to hand in his resignation. His term is going to end in the month of November, yet politicians want him to leave his position before this date. The party shared different views from the agency’s regarding the audit of several conservative nonprofit organizations. However, during the Thursday statement, Mr. Koskinen claimed that he has no intention to leave his office.
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