IRS suspends Equifax contract extension after second security issue

Lloyd Doyle
October 13, 2017

Equifax revealed last month that it had endured a massive cybersecurity breach in July, potentially exposing the personal information of nearly half of all Americans, including names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers.

For what it may be worth, Equifax told Engadget that the malicious download prompts weren't the result of another breach, but rather code from a third-party company Equifax used for site analytics. "Since we learned of the issue, the vendor's code was removed from the webpage and we have taken the webpage offline to conduct further analysis". "Why are we spending all this money to give our data to a company that has clear problems with the technology?"

The credit monitoring agency is still dealing with fallout from a massive security breach that may have exposed the personal data of up to 145.5 million people.

The IRS announced late Thursday night that it has temporarily suspended a $7.25 million contract with Equifax to help verify taxpayers' identities when creating accounts on the agency's website, citing "new information available today".

"The prospect of this happening should horrify any elected official who is charged with looking out for the welfare of American consumers", she added.

Now, Politico notes that the IRS has chose to temporarily back down from this contract after reports emerged that Equifax might have been compromised again.

As is standard operating procedure, the IRS extended Equifax's contract until the protest is resolved because the agency was still in need of those services.

"The IRS emphasized that there is still no indication of any compromise of the limited IRS data shared under the contract", agency spokesman Matthew Leas said in a statement. Although people can't create new accounts, current Secure Access users aren't affected by this contract change and will continue to have access to their accounts, the agency said.

According to Politico, the IRS will continue reviewing Equifax's security systems during the suspension. And these transcripts can still be ordered by mail. By the time the IRS had made the decision to go with Equifax for fraud prevention, the scope and severity of the Equifax breach was already obvious, leaving many to wonder what the IRS was thinking.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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