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Written by: Mike Yang

Last week, the IRS announced that, from February through mid-May this year, criminals accessed the past tax returns of 100,000 Americans using the IRS website. Yesterday, the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs held a hearing to learn more about what went wrong at the IRS, and what steps could be taken to protect American’s personal information going forward.

Dr. Kevin Fu, a cybersecurity expert and Associate Professor at the University of Michigan, highlighted Pindrop’s audio and voice based fraud detection in his testimony: “Pindrop Security, they actually work for financial services companies. They listen to the audio of the phone calls as people call in and they’re able to actually identify repeat offenders who are calling in pretending to be other people based on the delay in the phone line from the country they’re calling from, some interesting characteristics of the copper wires. You could use some of these advanced technologies not to eliminate, but at least reduce the risk of fraudsters trying to go from one fraudster doing 100,000 accounts to at least making it more difficult to scale up to so many different accounts from one adversary.”
Pindrop has been a part of this conversation in the past, when we exposed an attacker caught in the act, when we quantified numbers of attacks, and when we mapped the attack as it spread across the US. Consequently, we were gratified to find our work being credited for contributing to possible solutions.
Fraud against the IRS hurts everyone in the US. We’re glad if we can be part of the solution.