Data breaches

FEMA exposes personal, banking details of 2.5 million disaster survivors

FEMA. Photo: Pool/Getty Images

Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency admitted on Friday to a data "incident" involving the personal and banking information of 2.5 million U.S. disaster survivors who used FEMA's Transitional Sheltering Assistance program, the Washington Post reports.

Details: Those effected survived natural disasters including hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. The release of the information could result in identity theft and fraud, according to a watchdog report dated March 15. FEMA Press Secretary Lizzie Litzow explained in a statement that the security blunder was the result of FEMA "oversharing" "unnecessary" amounts of personal details during the process of transferring disaster survivor information to a contractor. Litzow also said the government agency is taking "aggressive measures to correct this error," per the Post.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to say the release of information was not a "breach."

Tax season is predicted to have fewer breaches in data

Illustration of IRS logo with lock
Illustration: Sara Grillo/Axios

With tax day rapidly approaching, it's beginning to look like this tax season will show a sharp decline in breaches swiping data used to file fake tax returns. Risk Based Security (RBS), a cybersecurity group that monitors breach notifications, has tracked only 5 reports of theft of tax data this season, down from around 40 in the whole of last year's tax season and 230 the year before.

Why it matters: While the number of tax-document-related breaches has been on the decline for a while, it's still surprising to see such a rapid drop, even after the number had plummeted into the double digits.

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