FBI opens probe of IRS data breach

FBI opens probe of IRS data breach
© Greg Nash

The FBI is launching an investigation into a recent data breach at the Internal Revenue Service.

The FBI said Thursday that it is working with other agencies “to determine the nature and scope of this matter,” and urged taxpayers contacted by the IRS as victims of the hackers to ensure their personal information is secure.


“The compromise of government systems and theft of taxpayer data are taken very seriously, and the FBI and IRS will aggressively pursue and hold accountable those responsible for this recent incident,” the FBI said in a statement.

On Tuesday, the IRS announced that it had discovered that hackers had breached the agency's website and gained access to the old returns of over 100,000 taxpayers. Using stolen identification information obtained elsewhere, the hackers were able to impersonate taxpayers on the IRS’s website, gaining access to old returns containing a wealth of personal financial information.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said at the time the agency believed the breach was the work of organized crime, and would be notifying all taxpayers targeted, and providing credit monitoring services to those who had their information compromised.

The FBI said Thursday that any taxpayer that suspects their identity has been stolen should report it to the agency.

Lawmakers are also probing the breach, as the Senate Finance Committee announced plans to discuss the matter on June 2 with Koskinen and other IRS officials.