Every Australian taxpayer’s taxation information is at risk!
Criminals infiltrated the Australian taxation system according to a report we read on smh.com.au. Criminals used stolen personal information of tax agents to gain access to the Tax Agent Portal.
Warning of this security breach was sent on February 5 to all tax agents across the country and urged them to log into the Australian Tax Agent Portal to see if criminals have signed up for their own login under the agent’s business name. This alert was not posted on the Tax Office website.
With access to a tax agent’s login, a criminal not only has immediate access to the agent’s existing clients but they could also be able to access the tax information of every Australian taxpayer if they know three pieces of personal information. A criminal simply requires a person’s tax file number, date of birth and name to gain access to income information over the past three years, taxes paid and also if they had any HECS debt.
Financially, the criminal posing as a tax agent can potentially create a fake tax return on behalf of the taxpayer and claim the tax return money themselves. Identity theft is also a potential risk with this security breach.
According to the smh.com.au report, at least four agents had their personal identity stolen. It was not known if the agents were small or large in size or how many potential residents were at risk.
More agents could be at risk and the Tax Office is urging agents to check their portal for unauthorized users. A Sydney tax agent not named in the smh.com.au report said he was alarmed at the breach.
This security breach also alarmed our IT security experts immediately. We are convinced that the Australian Tax System is a secure system however one can never underestimate the power of social engineering or what can happen if personal information such as login, password, date of birth or other confidential information is compromised.
How secure is your business? Have you tested your staff to ensure they are asking the correct questions when someone calls them asking for their username and password? Social Engineering can jeopardize the most secure networks.
Speak with our IT security experts to learn how your Australian business can be protected from criminals, hackers, malicious code and even social engineering attempts. We are here to help you, call us today.