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Nearly 500 IRS Laptops Lost or Stolen Over Three Years

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posted on Apr, 9 2007 @ 05:44 PM
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Nearly 500 IRS Laptops Lost or Stolen Over Three Years


www.com puterworld.com

Nearly 500 Internal Revenue Service laptops — many likely containing unencrypted personal information of taxpayers — were lost or stolen over a 30-month period ending in June 2006, according to an audit released last month.

The audit, conducted by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, found that between Jan. 2, 2003, and June 13, 2006, a “large number” of laptops were stolen from the vehicles and homes of IRS employees, while 111 were stolen from various agency facilities.

Although auditors were unable to determine exactly what information was contained on the missing laptops, they did conclude that personal information of taxpayers is not adequately protected.
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Apr, 9 2007 @ 05:45 PM
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This is beyond ridiculous....


This type of thing was found in an audit in 2003 and the IRS has obviously not taken this private info seriously enough to correct their mistakes.

Security is becoming laughable.....

www.com puterworld.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Apr, 9 2007 @ 08:02 PM
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Those laptops shouldn't even have anything stored on them. They should be used to remote in via a VPN and all the info is stored on a secured server. If there is any info stored locally on the laptop the drive should be encrypted with strong, and possibly require hardware token and or biometric authentication

[edit on 9-4-2007 by warpboost]



posted on Apr, 10 2007 @ 12:19 AM
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With the increase in identity fraud, the social security numbers of the individuals would be worth more than the laptops themselves.

If there are hundreds of SSNs on each laptop, it could be worth lots of $$$ to an underpaid IRS employee with a connection to the black market with the technical knowledge to decrypt the information.

The fact that they haven't stepped up security knowing that these thefts are still going on, could make you think that corruption is very much alive and well in the IRS.



posted on Apr, 10 2007 @ 12:57 AM
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I agree with what Flighty is saying. I think it is the personal information the crooks are after. It is appalling that the continuous thefts have been allowed to go on so long.



posted on Apr, 10 2007 @ 07:56 AM
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Something that was first noted in a 2003 audit and reaffirmed in a recent audit, the IRS is now proudly proclaiming that it should have the problems fixed in a few more weeks.

Let's see, in a few more weeks tax-season will be over, so is the IRS fixing the problem or are they just buying time to get through the time of the year when IRS stories make headlines?

I don't know but here is the report:


IRS head: All laptops to be encrypted within weeks

After an auditor found serious security problems in the way it handled sensitive data on laptops, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service said it will have all laptops encrypted within the next few weeks.

Speaking in an interview with National Public Radio over the weekend, Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Mark Everson said his organization was making the effort following a recently released audit that found unencrypted data on a large percentage of IRS laptop computers.



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