AP News reports that "sophisticated criminals used an online service by the IRS to access personal tax information from more than 100,000 taxpayers, part [of] an elaborate scheme to steal identities and claim fraudulent tax refunds."

Breaking news reports coming direct from the Internal Revenue Service today, stating their systems have been compromised by "organized crime syndicates" that "everybody in the financial industry are dealing with."  

IRS Commissioner John Koskinien is "confident" these hackers are not "amateurs."  The thieves reportedly accessed a system called "Get Transcript," in which, according to AP, taxpayers can get tax returns and other filings from previous years.  The thieves had to clear a security screen that required some knowledge about the particular taxpayer, including a Social Security number, date of birth, tax filing status and street address.  

"Eighty percent of the identity theft we're dealing with and refund fraud is related to organized crime here and around the world," the Commissioner stated.  "These are sophisticated criminals with access to a tremendous amount of data."  

Still no word on whether these hackers are local U.S. citizens or if the attacks are coming from abroad.  

A criminal investigation is already underway.  The IRS claims its main computer system remains secure.  

Does this attack make living off the grid more appealing to you?  Continue the discussion below.  

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