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In late spring of last year, more than 100,000 taxpayers had their personally-identifiable information accessed by criminals. It wasn’t a security breach, nor was it accomplished by “hacking.” Instead, it was the result of the IRS using common static identifiers to verify accounts — information that could easily be found elsewhere. These were deployed to access transcripts of taxpayers’ filing histories. The transcripts gave criminals the information they were actually seeking: Social Security numbers, birth dates and current addresses.




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