A simple electrical fault causes a lot of trouble to the taxman


    In the early afternoon of Wednesday, March 30 across Italy, many accountants tried in vain to pay their clients’ taxes. They failed because of the revenue agency portal It was inaccessible. In the same hours, the GreenPass issuance platform and the online recipe reading portal stopped working, as did the websites of many electronic bookmakers and the websites of the Financial Department of the Ministry of Economy.

    All these services are managed by Sogei, the public IT company which is 100% controlled by the Ministry of Economy which undertakes the task of managing IT services for various public bodies such as Revenue Agency, Audit Bureau, Customs and Monopolies Agency, State Property Agency and State Public Accounting Office. It seemed that the cause was a simple electrical malfunction, which raised doubts about the integrity of the system.

    Sogei is a great company, she has With an annual turnover of 626 million euros, more than two thousand employees, it is responsible for a huge amount of data: every year 36 million tax connections pass through its systems through the Entratel portal, 14 million through the Fiscoonline platform, 781 million prescriptions, 24.2 million certificates Satisfactory, 10 billion betting transactions from 58,423 registered operators, 29 million customs declarations. In short, a large part of the data of Italian citizens is kept in its databases.

    Issues reported starting Wednesday at 14.07. Suji explained in her first official call, which arrived at 2.40 pm, that she “has not been subjected to any electronic attack” and attributed the shortcomings to “technical problems” without clarifying what they are. Meanwhile, many public administration websites operated by Sogei are still inaccessible.

    The consequences were dire. in a note published The Association of Chartered Accountants clarified, Thursday, March 31, that the lack of access to the Revenue Authority websites, in addition to the failure to pay taxes to many citizens, prevented the transmission of communications related to the expenses of restructuring the interventions related to construction bonuses with the expiration set on March 31. said Maria Pia Nocera, president of the Association of Accountants’ Association.

    Due to the collapse, the internal revenue was imposed To provide Extension to 11 between ads, communications and payments finish Between 30 and 31 March. Among them, tax payments due on insurance premiums, registration tax on rents, and communications related to the Extraordinary Demobilization Fund. An extension is possible under a 1961 law allowing deadlines to be deferred until the tenth day after notification in the presence of “exceptional events not attributable to financial management organizational dysfunctions,” as in this case. Unless there are new contacts, the deadlines have been pushed back to April 10.

    Thursday Sogei He said To solve problems and give important information to understand the causes of inefficiencies: “We are waiting for the final conclusions and technical checks of the deficiencies created by Areti spa that led to the outage.” Areti is a company that deals with electricity distribution in Rome and is part of the Acea group, the municipal company that deals with water, energy and the environment in Rome.

    According to the note Widespread From Areti, the outage was caused by a “voltage drop” that affected the electricity grid supplying users in the Cecchignola region, south of Rome, where Sogei is based. “These are transient phenomena lasting fractions of a second and are among the permissible disturbances on the electrical distribution network. Areti is cooperating with Sogei technicians to investigate the case,” Areti’s note states.

    Given the reason for the failure, the fact that the shortcomings are not from the work of a cyber attack is no cause for relief, according to some observers It shows the insecurity of the system that must withstand in the presence of malfunctions in the electrical network. In fact, voltage drop is a fairly common problem: it occurs when there is a rapid and sudden drop in the supply voltage for a period from 10 milliseconds to 1 minute. To prevent voltage dips, companies typically install devices like a UPS, known as an uninterruptible power supply, that stabilize voltages and compensate for dips. Also on the Sogei site there are uninterruptible power supplies, but at the moment it is not clear whether they have come into operation or not. Other companies located in the Cecchignola area have not reported deficiencies.

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