Monday, July 8, 2013


IRS accidentally publishes thousands of Social Security numbers online.

C'mon, guys.

You're supposed to be on our side in the hacking wars,not helping the other team. 

When the Internal Revenue Service screws up, it screws up BIG.

Someone at everyone's favorite agency forgot to remove tens of thousands of Social Security numbers from a data-set while uploading it to a new online hub.

The result? Thousands of hackable targets left floating around the Internet, perfect prey for any Tom, Dick or Dimitri with unscrupulous plans in mind.

 Thankfully, a nonprofit that specializes in publishing government information spotted it, forcing the IRS to look up from their abacuses long enough to shut the thing down

 C'mon, guys.You're supposed to be on our side in the hacking wars, not helping the other team.

You'd think the IRS would be the one organization it might be safe to trust with your precious Social Security Number.

Think again.

Thanks to a cock-up,the agency just put tens of thousands of the numbers out on the Internet for anyone and everyone to see. Fantastic.

It seems that when the IRS went to upload a bunch of records on the non-profit industry, some unfortunate soul simply forgot to redact the thousands of identifying numbers.

Fortunately, the error was spotted by Public.Resource.Org, which likes to publish these kind of records, and the offending list of 9-digit numbers has already been removed.

Still, it's disquieting to know they were out there at all, and who knows who saw them.

There have been worse breaches, like when the state of South Carolina got hacked out of 3.6 million SSNs

But it hurts to see the IRS—an agency that trades in these things by its very nature—compromise a bunch through sheer digital incompetence; no hackers necessary. [Boing Boing via The Daily Dot]

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