The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) “does not expect” the recent Equifax data breaches to have a “major effect” because they believe a “significant” number of victims already had their personal information stolen.
“We actually think that it won’t make any significantly or noticeable difference,” claimed Commissioner John Koskinen. “Our estimate is a significant percent of those taxpayers already had their information in the hands of criminals.”
“It’s an important reminder to the public that everyone can take any actions that they can… to make sure we can do everything we can to protect personal information,” he continued, adding that the public should “assume” their personal information has already been breached and should “act accordingly.”
Over 140 million consumers’ personal information was reported to be compromised after a large cyberattack on the credit reporting company. The vulnerability was blamed on a single employee who allegedly failed to implement a patch, despite the fact that, according to Tech Crunch, “a patch for that vulnerability had been available for months before the breach occurred.”
As previously reported:
The company faced further controversy following the discovery that Equifax’s Terms of Service included a clause in their security assistance website which barred consumers from being able to sue the company before they removed it following consumer backlash.
It was also revealed that the company had been encouraging consumers to visit the wrong security website, a fake, which could have easily been used as a phishing scam and taken more information.
Last week, the IRS suspended a controversial $7.2 million contract that was previously awarded to Equifax during the data breach scandal.
Several lawmakers had criticized the contract, including Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA), and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), who claimed, “I was initially under the impression that my staff was sharing a copy of the Onion, until I realized this story was, in fact, true.”