Washington (CNN) The IRS believes that a major cyber breach that allowed criminals to steal the tax returns of more than 100,000 people originated in Russia, two sources briefed on the data theft tell CNN.
On Tuesday, the Internal Revenue Service announced that organized crime syndicates used personal data obtained elsewhere to access tax information, which they then used to file $50 million in fraudulent tax refunds.
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.
The security of taxpayer data has been an IRS problem for years. In an October report, the IRS’ independent watchdog called it the agency’s number one problem.
“Computer security has been problematic for the IRS since 1997,” according to the report.
Full article: Sources: IRS believes massive data theft originated in Russia (CNN)