Technology

Cyber-thieves steal Pin codes from US Revenue

IRS Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The IRS said its computers had been attacked by a software bot

The US government's tax collection agency has said attackers fooled its computers into generating more than 100,000 tax return Pin codes.

The codes could have been used to seek payouts had the scam not been detected.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) said no personal taxpayer data had been compromised or disclosed by its systems.

It added it was monitoring use of its web application for any further signs of fraudulent activity.

The agency said the attackers had used personal data stolen from elsewhere to compromise its systems.

The information had then been processed by a software bot - meaning an automated program - to make one application after another for a Pin.

"Based on our review, we identified unauthorised attempts involving approximately 464,000 unique social security numbers, of which 101,000 SSNs were used to successfully access an e-file Pin," it said in a statement.

Affected taxpayers should receive a letter to alert them to the fact their social security number had been misused in this way, the IRS said.

Furthermore, it said, it had marked the affected accounts to protect them against any further attempt of tax-related fraud.

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