March 18, 2014
The IRS informed employees today of a data security issue that has recently been discovered. The information at issue, which we presently believe dates back to 2007 or earlier, included IRS employee-related information and not general taxpayer information or records. The incident stems from an employee's use of an unencrypted thumb drive and does not involve a third-party breach of any of our systems. This was not a problem with our network or systems, but rather an isolated instance. We are working cooperatively with TIGTA, as it continues its review of this matter and will take appropriate action.
At this point, we have no direct evidence to indicate this personal information has been used for identity theft or other inappropriate uses. The IRS strongly believes this situation could not occur in today’s environment, because starting in 2008 we added automatic encryption for any external portable devices attached to our systems.