IRS was warned 7 times since 2007 about cyber risk to taxpayer data

IRS was warned 7 times since 2007 about cyber risk to taxpayer data
(Image via NYT)

[Ed. – Reportedly, the IG warnings were on point for the compromise of 100,000 taxpayers’ information, reported last week.]

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) warned the IRS that it was not sufficiently protecting taxpayer data. It also made recommendations that the IRS fialed to implement.

TIGTA Chief J. Russell George told the Senate Finance Committee at a Tuesday hearing that the IRS failed to implement over 40 recommendations that would have made taxpayer information safer from hackers.

According to ATR:

Since 2007, the IRS has been warned at least seven times by watchdog groups that it needed to strengthen its protections of taxpayer information.

In a 2014 report, TIGTA warned that if stronger protections are not implemented, “taxpayers could be exposed to the loss of privacy and to financial loss and damages resulting from identity theft or other financial crimes.”  The report was the latest in a series of warnings about the agency’s inability to protect taxpayer information.

[…]

Instead of modernizing its system to protect taxpayer information from hackers, the IRS wasted taxpayer dollars by purchasing Nerf footballs that were never used, the world’s largest crossword puzzle, $100 lunches, and Thomas the Tank Engine Wristbands.”

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