US Tax Agency Must Protect Hacked Federal Employees – Senator

US Tax Agency Must Protect Hacked Federal Employees – Senator © AP Photo/ Susan Walsh, File

21:32 23.06.2015(updated 21:44 23.06.2015) Get short URL
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US Senator Mark Warner said that US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) must act to protect federal workers whose confidential information was accessed by hackers.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) must act to protect federal workers whose confidential information was accessed by hackers, US Senator Mark Warner said in a letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen on Tuesday.

“I ask that you [Koskinen] do everything in your power to protect the millions of current and former federal employees who had their sensitive personal information exposed by the hack of the OPM [Office of Personnel Management database,” Warner said.

On June 4, 2015, the OPM announced it had discovered a massive cybersecurity breach in April 2015 that compromised the personal data of nearly every current and many former US federal employees.

Earlier on Tuesday, OPM Director Katherine Archuleta told the Senate that the breach has increased to include anybody who has applied for employment with the US government, or about 18 million people, including individuals who have applied to obtain security clearances.

Media reports have said US officials suspect China was behind the four-month long cyber-operation, but the administration or President Barack Obama has not blamed China for the attack.

In his letter, Warner suggested several ways to protect US federal workers from future data breaches. One way is to increase use of Identity Protection Personal Identification Numbers (IP PIN); another is to include additional filters next tax season to identify fraudulent returns.

Nearly three million cases of tax-related identity theft took place in 2013, compared to 1.8 million in 2012, Warner wrote.

On Monday, US Senator and presidential hopeful Marco Rubio said in a letter to President Obama that the US government must impose economic sanctions on China at this week’s inter-government meeting in Washington in retaliation for the country’s alleged role in the OPM data attack.

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