South Carolina taxpayer server hacked, 3.6 million Social Security numbers compromised
October 26th, 2012
07:56 PM ET

South Carolina taxpayer server hacked, 3.6 million Social Security numbers compromised

The Social Security numbers of millions of South Carolinians, as well as credit and debit card information for hundreds of thousands, have been hacked in what the state's governor described Friday as an international cyberattack.

"This is not a good day for South Carolina," Gov. Nikki Haley told reporters.

The governor explained that a "server that warehouses all our taxpayer information was breached and taxpayer information was stolen."

The state's Department of Revenue explained in a press release that it first learned of a possible breach on October 10, after which the state contracted information security firm Mandiant to conduct an investigation.

The "hole" in the system was closed October 20. Over the next several days, state authorities determined that more than 3.6 million Social Security numbers may have been affected. So, too, were 387,000 credit card numbers - though only 16,000 of those were unencrypted.

On Friday, state officials laid out efforts to determine what happened and protect the personal information of taxpayers. While noting that not everyone had their information breached, Haley urged everyone who filed a tax return in South Carolina from 1998 through now to take advantage of credit protection services being offered by the state.

"While we now have it protected, we want to make sure that everybody understands that our state will respond with a big, large-scale plan that is somewhat unprecedented to take care of this problem," the governor said.

soundoff (340 Responses)
  1. banasy©

    Oh, for Heaven's sake!
    This is bloody awful!
    Get it together here, US, before we have a catastrophic information meltdown!

    October 26, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. sandra

    So what kind of action are we individuals supposed to take? Are my bank accounts all about to be breached? If I unplug my computer am I safe? Stop all electronic bank transactions? We KNOW it's not a good day, if we've been hacked, so give us some information, Governor Haley. What can we do as individual to protect ourselves, since the governement has been breached?

    October 26, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      There're many things you can do to protect your accounts and the loss of your funds.The first, and most important, is never ask a politician for any advice about electronic banking.

      October 26, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Just me

      Run! Run Now!

      October 26, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Peter Q Wolfe

    All the more reason to have a national counter internet and technology division in Washington that Mr President Obama orcestrated in the 21st century! Unfortunately the conservatives believe in unregulated markets that can't account in efforts similar to thins in enough time like the Patronizing act that exxploited the Google back door access to their servors. In general, conservatives believe in laissez-faire idiocy especially on matters of the future on science and technology and have no grounds to stand on these issues.

    October 26, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Keith

      What are you talking about? The Government has all those services and they believe in getting into everything you touch, just not for your protection.

      October 27, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank Pierce

      What the Dems or Pubs think in ref to cyber security remains irrelevant and will forever remain so. Computers with information and "cyber security" are not much different from physical locks. Locks are only made for honest people. As long as potentially sensitive information is stored on these computers we can expect to continue to read about the breaches and theft of the information. When this nation becomes truly interested in cyber security they will remove all sensitive information and industrial controls off of computers accessible from the internet.

      October 28, 2012 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
  4. Ali

    Ummm why do they have almost 400,000 CC numbers stored???

    October 26, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • WarEagleInSC

      The credit card info is stored as part of the online payment system. Any individual or business making payment of taxes online has their info stored. If you pay online with the IRS or just about any other state agency where you have a regular account established, your info will be stored too.

      October 26, 2012 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Nana2Munchie

    Governor Haley and her staff did instruct the public what to do. CNN made a choice not to report it. See WLTX.COM

    October 26, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • saturn

      Phone number doesn't work. Just like our governor. Why did it take 16 days to inform the public????

      October 26, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • leee

      The number given does not work and states (this was earlier in the day) that the office is closed for the weekend. I guess they don't work on Friday's, especially on Friday's where a major announcement such as this is made.

      October 26, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • David Cartledge

      AMEN! And when you call the toll free number, all you get is a busy signal! Nobody that I know has even gotten through! I am SO MAD about this!! There is LACK OF LEADERSHIP HERE!! They give us a toll free number to call and have 1 person answering the phone, that really does not sound like they care about us very much! I AM SO MAD ABOUT THIS!!!!

      October 27, 2012 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Keith

      Inadequate as usual.

      October 27, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • zoey27

      The phone number they posted is working on Sat. We just used it and got the code from a recorded message which is likely the same for everyone: SCDOR123. This will allow you to then go to the website and when prompted, type in the code. There was a short profile sheet and from there they determined if you were one of those compromised. That will allow you in for free for the protection service, but only if you're one of the compromised numbers. Don't forget to do this for both husband and wife SSNs. We used separate browsers to go into the site as the IP is recognized by the first use. We went from Chrome to IE to take care of both SSNs. And yes, we were among the compromised.

      October 27, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. vincent

    Portland Tony,
    good post:) however you might want to revise your statement. you could say "never ask a politician for any advice, about anything"
    they have a habit of promising you the moon, and if you lucky you might get a moon rock and a broken promise, or should i say broken promises

    October 26, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Chooch0253

    Payback for the gross ignorance displayed from most of the citizens. Given the hatred that spews from S.C. on a daily basis can't say this bothers me in the least. Reap what you sow.

    October 26, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • JohnD

      Pot meet kettle.

      October 26, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nate

      Spoken like an ignorant fool who thinks that their viewpoints on a few pet issues should be the basis for judging an entire population's character.

      October 26, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • esmith

      So, because the states majority political stance is obviously one you oppose, all of the citizens deserved something of this magnitude and "had it coming?" That definitely makes a ton of sense... I am not even of the majority of this BEAUTIFUL state and can't help but wonder how ignorant one can be!

      October 27, 2012 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Chooch0253

      Right...My opinion of S.C. is exclusive... unless you read the many other postings that seem to concur. You have a screwball for a Governor. Who elected your Governor? I rest my case.

      October 27, 2012 at 1:14 am | Report abuse |
  8. bam

    isnt a hack, its idiotic to not have taken care of it yet....
    and Credit Card protection? yeah huh

    October 26, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Realist76

    Is it ever a good day in SC?

    October 26, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • saturn


      October 26, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Loubies from S.C.

      Not since Haley was elected. I sure didn't vote for her.

      October 27, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  10. dnick47

    What do you expect from a solid Red State?

    October 26, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. JOSH P

    We go around messing other nations computer systems,so I guess it,s now payback time.

    October 26, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • coty

      just sounds a little like you prefer other nations, or don't disapprove of this.

      October 26, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • dondijon

      Ironic that it is revealed within weeks of the Governments big cyber warning news coference... sounds like a politically motivated False Flag to me, and in the last Four years I've noted so many that I've rand out of fingers and lost count of toe's!!!

      October 27, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank Pierce

      All of these clever weapons we invent get into the hands of other nations and get used against us. Nope, that aint too bright.

      October 28, 2012 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
  12. Kelly51

    Hillary Clintons fault.

    October 26, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank Pierce

      Democrats and Republicans fault.

      October 28, 2012 at 12:17 am | Report abuse |
  13. duece2

    And there was just a warning of IRAN going to attack Internet, hmmmmm I wonder if CNN is gonna help hide this too

    October 26, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Keith

      If you were Iran, and the most powerful country in the World threatened you every day, I suspect you would hit them where ever you could. It doesn’t take an army to shut down our communications and threaten our security.

      October 27, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. steve

    blame it on Bush

    October 26, 2012 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Scott

    Ah, 3,600,000 "new" Maobama voters 😉


    October 26, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • dondijon


      October 27, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
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