back to article HMRC nabs 5 after £500k 'cyber attack' on tax systems

Computer systems operated by the UK's tax authority have been subjected to a cyber attack in an attempted tax scam, it has said. HMRC said that it suspects five men it arrested of using "illegally obtained personal data from third parties" to set up fake tax self-assessment accounts online in a bid to "steal large sums of …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So, you have the nous to use IT systems in a more creative way, and you use that for an attempted scam attack on one of the few authorities which has a virtually limitless budget to come after you. Well, duh.

  2. Anonymous Dutch Coward
    Thumb Up

    No incomprehensible charge here

    If the charge is really "cheating the Revenue", that sounds like a refreshing departure from the usual legal mumbo-jumbo.

    Thumbs up (in that respect) for the cash-collecting government minions from across the water!

  3. N2


    Now keep the pressure on & go after some of the big tax dodgers & stop harrassing pensioners

    1. Velv

      Re: Good

      It's flippant statements like this that do nobody any good.

      Yes, keep the pressure up. Yes, go after the big tax dodgers as well.

      But since the "big" tax dodgers make up less than 10% of the alleged dodged tax, keep after the little shitty fraudsters as well.

      The biggies are usually working within the strict letter of the law (which I'm not trying to condone) - many of the little guys are not just cheating HMRC but are often engaged in much more serious criminal activity

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good

        I would have thought that you'd go for the big tax avoiders first. If they make up 10% of avoided tax, by definition there are not that many of them avoiding this massive amount of tax, so you go for them first.

        I think the expression is something like "go for the low hanging fruit first".

  4. Great Bu

    <Insert Here>

    <Insert obligatory misinformed google/starbucks/amazon/etc. low tax bill comment here>

    1. Menelaus-uk

      Re: <Insert Here>

      <Insert vaguely veiled insult while linking to some poorly researched Guardian opinion piece>

  5. Robert Grant Silver badge

    Those advanced HMRC systems

    Log into the Self Assessment section and half the time (depends what page you come from) the Ask A Question link in the main menu doesn't work.

    Or how about this: there's a way to send a message to HMRC, but it's unformatted text (not even line breaks are registered) and it doesn't support any threading. This stuff's been built by the lowest bidder.

    1. Denarius Silver badge

      Re: Those advanced HMRC systems

      You expected otherwise ?

    2. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Those advanced HMRC systems

      That's the lowest bidder on the "Approved List" so the tea dispensing person at that company will cost the taxpayer more than this scam would have.. per hour.

  6. qwertyuiop

    Not completely foolproof then?

    HMRC’s online systems proved extremely resilient to these attacks - they correctly identified and prevented the vast majority of false repayment attempts (my emphasis)

    So they didn't block all the dodgy transactions then? Nice headline grabbing figure of £500k that they could have got away with, but how much did they actually get away with? Has it been recovered?

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