The Internal Revenue Service has taken its electronic filing PIN tool off IRS.gov after an attempted cyberattack was launched against new security measures. In addition to removing it from the website, the IRS also removed the electronic filing PIN tool from its automated toll-free telephone line.
The attack was unsuccessful in cracking newly installed security hurdles. However, an attack back in February was successful, allowing the cyber-crooks to access more than 100,000 e-File PINS through the IRS tool. While no taxpayer data was taken, it allowed the hackers to match up PINs with the taxpayer data they already had stolen.
Because nearly all commercial software providers link back directly to the IRS tool, it was decided to retain it – at least for a while. The tax software community is working with the IRS to assess whether the e-filing PIN can be eliminated altogether later this year.
Since the initial attack, additional automated attacks against the site have been noticed – and the frequency has been increasing. None of the new efforts have gained entrance. But the IRS decided to make the tool unavailable as a safety measure.
The taxpayers who have not yet filed for 2015 and need a PIN can access the Get Transcript feature on the IRS website to use their AGI instead.