SC Department of Revenue Reports Record Setting Data Breach

It was admitted publicly by state officials yesterday that the tax and banking information from millions of South Carolinians may have been compromised in a recent exploitation by hackers of the Department of Revenues servers.

What Happened: On October 10, the South Carolina Department of Revenue (DOR) was informed by the South Carolina Division of Information Technology (DSIT) of a potential cyber-attack involving the personal information of South Carolina Tax Payers. On October 12, the state hired an outside IT security firm, Mandiant, which on October 16, determined the intruders accessed state systems in early and mid-September. It wasn't until eight days later, on October 20, that the suspected security hole was actually closed.

Who It Affects: In the aftermath of this discovery, it was determined that approximately 3.6 million Social Security numbers and 387,000 credit and debit card numbers of South Carolina Tax Payers may have been exposed (The entire population of the State of South Carolina is approximately 4.7 million), making this the largest breach of its kind in state history.

What's Being Done: "We are taking immediate steps to protect the taxpayers of South Carolina, including providing one year of credit monitoring and identity protection to those affected," Governor Nikki Haley said in a statement. In an effort to mitigate the potential damage, taxpayers in South Carolina who might have potentially been impacted are being provided one year of credit monitoring. Haley said the state was negotiating to offer protection at about $8 per person, which would cost the state about $29 million if every taxpayer affected registered.

South Carolina Taxpayers that have filed returns in that state since 1998 are encouraged to call the toll-free call center established by the DOR, 866-578-5422.

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