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U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS)


Exploit: Human Error

U.S. Internal Revenue Service: Federal Government Agency


Risk to Business: 2.026 = Severe

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service on Friday acknowledged that thanks to an employee error, the agency accidentally published confidential information about 120,000 taxpayers on its website. The compromised data came from Form 990-T filings. This form is required for people with individual retirement accounts who earn certain types of business income within retirement plans. While the forms for individuals are supposed to be confidential, charities that generate certain types of income are also required to file Form 990-T, and those are intended to be public. An employee mistakenly uploaded private taxpayers’ data to the agency’s website along with the public charity data.



Risk to Individual: 2.406 = Severe

Exposed taxpayer data includes names, contact information, and financial information about IRA income The exposed data did not include Social Security numbers, full individual income information, detailed financial account data, or other information that could impact a taxpayer’s credit.



How it Could Affect Your Business: Human error is the top cause of cybersecurity trouble, but training helps reduce the risk of a data disaster related to employee mistakes.


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