Hacking of taxpayer accounts: “The major point of concern is the security of mailboxes”

Hacking of taxpayer accounts: “The major point of concern is the security of mailboxes”

A cybersecurity expert returns to the hacking of tax accounts, via the mailboxes of taxpayers this summer.

Online tax declaration on the impots.gouv.fr website.  (AURÉLIE LAGAIN / RADIO FRANCE)

Hackers gained access to accounts taxpayers of the impots.gouv.fr platform by hacking their personal e-mail, we learned on Tuesday. “The major point of concern is rather the security of mailboxes”, estimated Wednesday August 21 on franceinfo Gérôme Billois, expert in cybersecurity at the firm Wavestone.

franceinfo: Should we be worried about this piracy?

Gérôme Billois : This is worrying, because the tax site contains data that is extremely sensitive. All of our personal data is updated every year and that’s why hackers are interested in it. The major point of concern is the security of taxpayer mailboxes rather than the security of the tax site, since that is where the hackers have been.

So just hack into a mailbox to change a tax file?

This means that people have had their mailboxes hacked because they may have an incorrect password. Indeed, by this means the hackers were able to change the access password to the tax site without directly hacking the taxes. This means that by having access to someone’s mailbox, you can hack their accounts. This is true for a lot of things, like online shopping sites. The taxes will still strengthen their mechanism by adding an additional verification when you ask to change your password.

How can you secure a mailbox to avoid this kind of mishap?

Securing a mailbox requires having a good quality password, but also by activating two-factor authentication. This consists of receiving an SMS when you access your mailbox to ensure that it is really us. Today, all the major suppliers allow it.

What is the point of hacking tax accounts?

The interest may be twofold. It’s capturing the data that’s on these tax sites, it’s extremely reliable, it’s our names, our addresses, the household composition… These are things that cybercriminals can resell on the cybercrime black markets. Then, they are used for forgery, or phishing. Another point, with the withholding tax, taxes will tend to pay us money rather than take it from us. This will happen through the RIB that we have informed. Some hackers change RIBs to receive money instead of people.