The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is working to determine if a state computer system was hacked and if any sensitive data was obtained, the Channel 4 I-Team has learned.
Department of Revenue spokesman Billy Trout confirmed that the TBI and the IRS were called in to investigate the possibility of a security breach involving a computer and secure data on that computer.
The implications for a breach are great, because the agency has private information on businesses, tax identification numbers and people's Social Security numbers.
Trout said there are no preliminary findings of a breach and no indication of sensitive information stolen, but a thorough review is ongoing.
Sources confirm to the Channel 4 I-Team that fears of the alleged hacking surfaced on Friday at the downtown offices of the Department of Revenue.
A TBI agent went to the downtown offices and used software to conduct what's called "imaging."
"We're creating an exact copy of that system - the state of that system at that time - so we can have that to be analyzed by us or someone else," said Howard Patterson, assistant special agent with the TBI.
Patterson said state investigators now have a mirror image of everything that was on the computer.
The revenue department had to take the alleged hacking seriously. In 2012, South Carolina's Department of Revenue was hacked, and 3.8 million tax records were stolen, including Social Security numbers.
A spokesman for Gov. Bill Haslam referred the Channel 4 I-Team's questions back to the Tennessee Department of Revenue.
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