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The IRS is very unsecure


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#1 Bizurke

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 10:04 PM

Auditors Find IRS Workers Prone to Hackers

By MARY DALRYMPLE, AP Tax Writer
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
(03-16) 18:30 PST WASHINGTON, (AP) --

More than one-third of Internal Revenue Service employees and managers who were contacted by Treasury Department inspectors posing as computer technicians
provided their computer login and changed their password, a government report said Wednesday.

The report by the Treasury Department's inspector general for tax administration reveals a human flaw in the security system that protects taxpayer data.

It also comes on the heels of accounts of thieves' breaking into computer systems of private data suppliers ChoicePoint Inc. and LexisNexis.

The auditors called 100 IRS employees and managers, portraying themselves as personnel from the information technology help desk trying to correct a network problem. They asked the employees to provide their network logon name and temporarily change their password to one they suggested.

"We were able to convince 35 managers and employees to provide us their username and change their password," the report said.

That was a 50 percent improvement when compared with a similar test in 2001, when 71 employees cooperated and changed their passwords.

"With an employee's user account name and password, a hacker could gain access to that employee's access privileges," the report said.

"Even more significant, a disgruntled employee could use the same social engineering tactics and obtain another employee's username and password," auditors said.

With some knowledge of IRS systems, such an employee could more easily get access to taxpayer data or damage the agency's computer systems.

Employees gave several reasons for complying with the request, in violation with IRS rules that prohibit employees from divulging their passwords.

Some said they were not aware of the hacking technique and did not suspect foul play, or they wanted to be as helpful as possible to the computer technicians. Some were having network problems at the time, so the call seemed logical.

Other employees could not find the caller's name on a global IRS employee directory but gave their information anyway. Some hesitated but got approval from their managers to cooperate.

Within two days after the test, the IRS issued an e-mail alert about the hacking technique and instructed employees to notify security officials if they get such calls. The agency also included warnings into its mandatory security training.

__

On the Net:

Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration: www.treas.gov/tigta

#2 riscphree

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 10:14 PM

1/3 of the IRS is only 35?

"We were able to convince 35 managers and employees to provide us their username and change their password," the report said.

am i understanding that right?

#3 kun0

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 01:12 AM

At least they're improving from the earlier years. Then again, is this really acceptable? Especially for an agency that handles our taxes.

It would be interesting to see how other business/agencies/etc compare.

#4 Bizurke

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 06:48 PM

they said that around 1/3 of the people called. They use a small demographic to make up a report on the service as a whole. So in theory around 1/3rd of the IRS is stupid.

#5 Scheda

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 08:10 PM

It would be interesting to see how other business/agencies/etc compare.

We should find out... I don't know if this would qualify as "acceptible" or not, but we should check it out, if not as a group, as individuals, you know, hone those ninja SE skills. :ninja:

#6 Strom Carlson

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Posted 18 March 2005 - 12:35 PM

Oh well, more proof that you can't teach an old trick new positions.

#7 Evil1

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Posted 18 March 2005 - 12:50 PM

Moral of the story - dont pay your taxes.

#8 apollyon

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Posted 18 March 2005 - 01:58 PM

haha, my brother has this rich friend who's family hasn't paid thier taxes in years. thier reasoning is that if they get audited they have enough money stashed away to pay back taxes, and enough hidden assets so that if the parents go to jail the chilrend will still be fine.

#9 GIJoe

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Posted 18 March 2005 - 04:17 PM

haha, my brother has this rich friend who's family hasn't paid thier taxes in years. thier reasoning is that if they get audited they have enough money stashed away to pay back taxes, and enough hidden assets so that if the parents go to jail the chilrend will still be fine.

1. A big **** you to all the rich people who dont pay their taxes.

2. That story is BS. Nobody sets up a system where they go to jail but "have enough money for the kids"

In fact, dont pay taxes! Our kids dont need schools! We dont need roads to drive on! Parks? Clean running water? Sewage? We dont need that shit! You people are all like the kids that wear both 'anarchy' shirts and pretend to be all anti-establishment WHILE ATTENDING A GOVERNMENT FUNDED INSTITUTION

#10 apollyon

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Posted 18 March 2005 - 04:49 PM

i'm not sure what you mean by BS, if you mean i made it up, you can lick my nutsack, if you mean it sounds pretty stupid, yeah i agree.

the goal of most weathly people is to keep that wealth. taxes take away some of that wealth. if i was rich i'd make damn sure the majority of my wealth was not taxable(legally). just the way shit goes. this is a capitalist country, that's what happens. yes we need taxes to support our country, but a big goal of the upper class is to stay wealthy while shouldering the tax burden on the lower classes(lower class pays most of the tax right now anyway).

and by "you people" i hope you're not making snap judgemtns and referencing me.

#11 tokachu

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Posted 18 March 2005 - 05:11 PM

Do you know how much money you have to make to be that high on the wealth scale? It's well over $2,000,000 a year. In fact, I hear a Sagat parody coming on...

Question:
Why is it that the people who protest taxes the most tend to work for companies that get Federal subsides?

Maaannn...funk dat!

But to get back on topic, if any of you want to see something real scary about the IRS, send me a message with your swear to secrecy, and be sure you have a place where I can send you lots of data.
I-BaLL's a-gettin' it.

Edited by tokachu, 18 March 2005 - 10:21 PM.


#12 Jberryman

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Posted 18 March 2005 - 06:20 PM

1/3 of the IRS is only 35?

Just to clear this up... they were referring only to human employees not the army of monkeys that actually do the processing, come up with tax law, etc.

#13 Evil1

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Posted 18 March 2005 - 11:50 PM

<BLINKING>i hate being poor :( </BLINKING>

#14 riscphree

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Posted 19 March 2005 - 02:21 AM

1/3 of the IRS is only 35?

Just to clear this up... they were referring only to human employees not the army of monkeys that actually do the processing, come up with tax law, etc.

finally someone answered it.

thanks, i didnt know there were that few people in it.

#15 Taeweas

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Posted 19 March 2005 - 02:39 AM

You people are all like the kids that wear both 'anarchy' shirts and pretend to be all anti-establishment WHILE ATTENDING A GOVERNMENT FUNDED INSTITUTION


Its government law that you attend school, I'm pretty sure if they had a choice they wouldn't go.

#16 Dr. Z2A

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Posted 19 March 2005 - 03:43 AM

You people are all like the kids that wear both 'anarchy' shirts and pretend to be all anti-establishment WHILE ATTENDING A GOVERNMENT FUNDED INSTITUTION


Its government law that you attend school, I'm pretty sure if they had a choice they wouldn't go.

Key word: gov't funded. You can go to a private school (if your rich[er than me]) and it still counts. Those aren't government funded. And people can drop out of school eventually late in public high school if they want to be a beggar or crack dealer for the rest of their life.

#17 tokachu

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Posted 19 March 2005 - 03:58 PM

You don't even have to go to any school. You can just claim to be home-schooled and take the GED test (according to one of my friends it's not that hard).

#18 tiocsti

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Posted 19 March 2005 - 04:08 PM

Just to clear this up... they were referring only to human employees not the army of monkeys that actually do the processing, come up with tax law, etc.

ah, this is good to know, I was concerned audit was so young. The last part is not quite correct though...

The IRS has nothing to do with coming up with tax law, their task is merely to enforce it. The legislative branch (ie; the us senate and us house of representatives) creates law, the president approves it and it becomes law.

#19 GIJoe

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Posted 19 March 2005 - 04:47 PM

1. Anarchist kids: If they were truly anarchists, why would they care about a law saying they have to go? That should be even more reason for them not to go if they are truly for their case.

2,

and by "you people" i hope you're not making snap judgemtns and referencing me.



No in fact I realised today I hadnt meant 'you people' at all, I was referring to those who avoided taxes illgegally

#20 Minion

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Posted 19 March 2005 - 05:33 PM

illgegally


My favorite word. Ever.

I agree with you, the entire group of idiotic children who want anarchy don't realize this:

It would be great fun for the first two days, until you got shot by the grocery store clerk when you went to get milk...




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