recommended reading

IRS Employee Takes Home Thumb Drive With Data on 20,000 Colleagues

Rena Schild/

An employee of the Internal Revenue Service took home a thumb drive with details on some 20,000 colleagues at the agency, Bloomberg reported this week.

An inspector general report from last fall warned that a data loss prevention system designed to detect and prevent potential unauthorized transfers of information “was not in place.”

The information on the thumbdrive dated to 2007, "before the IRS started using automatic encryption,” Bloomberg reported.

Tax agency officials were told of the breach “a few days ago,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in a message to employees. Personnel were notified on Tuesday.

The Social Security numbers, names and addresses of employees and contractors were potentially made public, because the thumb drive was plugged into the worker’s “unsecure home network,” Koskinen’s message added. IRS systems holding data on hundreds of millions of taxpayers were not affected, according to Bloomberg.

Read the rest of this story at ThreatWatch, Nextgov's regularly updated catalog of data breaches successfully striking every sector of the globe, as reported by journalists, researchers and the victims themselves.

(Image via Rena Schild/

Threatwatch Alert

Software vulnerability

Malware Has a New Hiding Place: Subtitles

See threatwatch report


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.