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13 October 2017, 08:51 | Hattie Nash
IRS reportedly suspends $7.2 million Equifax contract
The contract was awarded days after Equifax announced it had exposed the personal data, including Social Security Numbers, of about 145 million people. The nation's largest information technology trade group is urging the government to cancel Equifax's now suspended contract with the IRS.
Earlier Thursday, Equifax had to take down a webpage after a security analyst said he was targeted with a malicious ad while visiting the site.
The report goes on to say that this short-term suspension will mean new accounts can not be opened through the Secure Access program. Secure Access allows taxpayers to retrieve various online tax records and provides other "tax account tools" to those who have signed up. This service is created to give users access to their records and transcripts online. If you have already enrolled, you're fine and can continue to access your account online.
The message ends by saying "We apologize for any inconvenience".
According to Politico, the IRS will continue reviewing Equifax's security systems during the suspension. "The IRS emphasized that there is still no indication of any compromise of the limited IRS data shared under the contract", Matthew Leas, an IRS spokesperson, said in a statement.
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 has put that contract it holds with Equifax on standby.
IRS Deputy Commissioner for Operations Jeffrey Tribiano told Congress last week that the bureau was obligated, because of federal contracting rules, to award the contract to Equifax because Equifax had objected to losing the contract to another company.
The IRS was the subject of a lot of derision once that no-bid contract was given to Equifax.
Last week, members of the Senate Banking Committee urged IRS Commissioner John Koskinen to kill the contract in a letter stating that "we have no assurances that our constituents' personal information is safe in their hands"-a reference the company's vast array of screw ups that led to one of the worst data breaches in history, compromising the personal information of about 145.5 million people, or about half of U.S. taxpayers".
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