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Published On: Fri, May 29th, 2015

Russia blamed for IRS ‘hack’ as details emerge

The Internal Revenue Service reportedly believes that the recent major cyber breach which allowed criminals to steal the tax returns of more than 100,000 people originated in Russia, Rep. Peter Roskam confirmed to CNN on Thursday.

Roskam, (R-IL), is chairman of a House subcommittee with IRS oversight, said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen detailed the links to the theft’s Russian provenance in a phone call, confirming some scattered reports on Wednesday.

“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,” Roskam said.

photo/ Cybercrime center at USF

photo/ Cybercrime center at USF

According to the Associated Press, over $50 million in tax refunds was stolen by the hackers before the attack was discovered this month.

Roskam said the breach is concerning because the IRS system wasn’t hacked. Using personal data, he said, the thieves “went in the front door of the IRS and unlocked it with the key.”

Roskam and Republican House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan sent a letter to Koskinen on Thursday asking him to explain how the breach occurred.

The IRS said the agency’s Criminal Investigation Unit and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration are investigating the origins of the breach. The agency also alerted the Homeland Security Department of the breach, a DHS official confirmed. On Thursday, the FBI announced it had also opened an investigation into the incident.

An IRS spokeswoman said the agency does not discuss ongoing investigations.

The news that the IRS data breach is believed to have originated in Russia comes on the heels of the disclosure that Russian hackers had infiltrated both the White House and State Department computer systems.

Anonymous hackers

Anonymous hackers

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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