The United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) predicts that tax professionals working across America will now on be targeted by hackers launching ransomware cyber attacks. IRS has specified in its media briefing that some handful of tax practitioners working for renowned firms have already been victimized by ransomware and more names are soon to follow.
Since tax professionals have a hand on sensitive information such as social security numbers; IRS predicts that they will become soft targets for ransomware spreading hackers in next few months. That’s because, the attack not only helps the cyber crooks earn revenue by taking hostage of the data, but also provides a window to spy on critical info filed by companies & individuals to SEC.
On request of FBI, IRS is planning to host a 10-week security awareness campaign for tax professionals in this regard. The law enforcement agency expects that such campaigns will help reduce ransomware related cyber attacks on tax pros which otherwise are becoming pervasive day by day.
John Koskinen, the commissioner of IRS has specially requested tax professionals not to click on suspicious links or open attachments forwarded by unsolicited emails. He also wants all tax professionals to keep a backup of their data on at least 2-3 mediums for data continuity.
Koskinen wants the tax pros to disable macros script for files transmitted from emails and if in case, wants the victims to immediately file a complaint with the local FBI office and/or with the Internet Crime Complaint Center.