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. Dem2017

    SC is dead last in nearly everything,apparently this even includes internet security. At least they are consistent. 😦

    October 26, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Booger

      Really? Try Florida.... then, again, maybe not.....

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

      ... correction! People lets get the real word out. Start identifying this as Cyber Insecurity, not internet or cyber security. Lets call it what it is. Let's not be stupid and partisan about it either. It's not just a Democrat or Republican blame allocation issue, it's an American Delusion in which we're all supposed to believe that Cyber Security is a possible concept.

      October 28, 2012 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
  2. YOU CANT HANDLE THE TRUTH

    OBAMA IS A FRAUD VOTE MITT ROMNEY/FIRST LADY ANN & VICE PRESIDENT RYAN 2012 JOBS JOBS JOBS JOBS

    October 26, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      He is just happy that South Carolinians SS numbers and credit cards are going over seas with all the jobs Romney will send if elected.

      October 26, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • nonya

      mitt is bush part 3...wake up...stop being an undercover racists

      October 26, 2012 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry L

      One wonders why Rob-Me can only expect 20% support from Massachusetts. If he was a good governor wouldn't the people support him for President? He was a terrible governor and the people of Massachusetts can't stand the pathological liar. He flip-flops on every issue, gives absolutely nothing specific about his ridiculous Bush 2.0 economic plan, and gets busted by the fact checkers every time he opens his pie hole. But as you most certainly appreciate, he's a very, very white man.

      October 27, 2012 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
    • L.Greg

      Ronald Reagan’s budget director, David Stockman, writes,

      "Mitt Romney was not a businessman; he was a master financial speculator who bought, sold, flipped, and stripped businesses. He did not build enterprises the old-fashioned way—out o
      f inspiration, perspiration, and a long slog in the free market...he spent his 15 years raising debt in prodigious amounts on Wall Street so that Bain could purchase the pots and pans and castoffs of corporate America, leverage them to the hilt, gussy them up as reborn “roll-ups,” and then deliver them back to Wall Street for resale—the faster the better."

      http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/10/14/david-stockman-mitt-romney-and-the-bain-drain.html

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

      didn't it ever cross the gop mind why he didn't run for a 2d term as gov.? three guesses, and the first 2 don't count-–ok, let me clue them in, as indicated, he was NOT a good governor and he knew he was going to lose- get totally trounced, so why try? trying to explaining losing is much more difficult than walking away with whatever excuse you can muster.... he gutted education funding, sent jobs overseas, corporate raided/looted, sent the MA economy south- or to china....think about it. co.s like Bain helped start the economic meltdown....

      October 27, 2012 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
    • reasonablebe

      Query: Didn't it ever cross the gop mind why he didn't run for a 2d term as gov.? three guesses, and the first 2 don't count-–ok,

      let me clue them in, as indicated, he was NOT a good governor and he knew he was going to lose- get totally trounced, so why try? trying to explaining losing is much more difficult than walking away with whatever excuse you can muster.... he gutted education funding, sent jobs overseas, corporate raided/looted, sent the MA economy south- or to china....think about it. co.s like Bain helped start the economic meltdown....

      October 27, 2012 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
    • DaMeglet

      No thank you. I don't want to live in a misogynistic theocracy.

      October 27, 2012 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Chooch0253

      People from S.C. wonder why others question the intelligence and common sense of the states citizenry. Really?

      October 27, 2012 at 1:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Frank Pierce

      Vote Democratic or Republican. Gridlock/Partisan Politics, Gridlock/Partisan Politics and four more years of America swirling closer to the drain.

      October 28, 2012 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
  3. scranton

    China or Iran.

    October 26, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • litethelight

      North Korea, by way of China.

      October 26, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Keith

      Or Israel

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

      Masked IP originating in area code 202- re-routed through a blind server in the Caymens no doubt...

      October 27, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. micky hawk

    Concerning the breach of OVER 3,000.000 individuals – social security numbers – credit card numbers – and every personal thing one has abou themselves... not only did Gov. Haley and her officials know about this in August? and just released it to us... but they do not have a sufficient phone base to call into to see if your information was breached!!! THIS IS A CATASTROPHIC drop of the ball by our leaders in the state of SC.... please post this, this is a very very serious event for millions of people in this state.

    October 26, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dalton

    Only 16,000 CC numbers unencrypted... tells you all you need to know about their housekeeping.

    October 26, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jean Sartre

      There are many different levels and forms of encryption; ALL can be cracked... it is only a matter of how much sophistication and time you have.

      Clearly, SC did not even bother with security 101...

      October 27, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Nate

    We have a foreign attack on a US state government, and yet, the typical Obama supporter on here has nothing but mean-spirited and spiteful comments. I'm not surprised really.

    October 26, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • texcal68

      Nate, everyday your fellow Republicans call the President every terrible name known to humankind, yet you have the guts to criticize Obama supporters. Damn!

      October 26, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nate

      I'm not a Republican. I despise the two party system and both war mongering parties. Assumptions really suck.

      October 26, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • MSFreeThinker

      Are you serious? What in the hell does Obama have to do with South Carolina's database being hacked? I'm a computer scientist and THE STATES are RESPONSIBLE for their own security regarding their taxpayer databases. It wasn't as FEDERAL SERVER, it was a SOUTH CAROLINA SERVER. On the other hand, if Obama introduced legislation to make states responsible on a federal level to DOUBLE or TRIPLE their database security you wingnuts would be out there trying to fight it as TOO MUCH SPENDING! Shut your face because you don't know what you are talking about..

      October 26, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nate

      I never said it was Obama's fault. My comment is in reference to people saying that SC deserved the attack because it is a Republican leaning state.

      October 26, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nate

      BTW, I'm a computer scientist as well, and federal requirements sound like a great idea to me. Oh, and "shut my face"? Really? Are we six?

      October 26, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • mkat2

      Well, remember this Administration was known to have said; "They bring a knife, we'll bring a gun".! So, why are you surprised at their nastiness, and..... Mr. Obama claimed he was going to 'bring the country together"! How did that work out? How did Benghazi work out for Ambassador & the other Americans? How did his "green energy" companies work out by all the bankruptcies? Welcome to Chicago politics, folks!

      October 26, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry L

      I recall Rob-Me making political attacks to the press regarding handling of the Libya Embassy crisis WHILE THE CRISIS WAS HAPPENING! Quit your self-righteous whining.

      October 27, 2012 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Chooch0253

      Mean spirited? What goes around, comes around.

      October 27, 2012 at 1:23 am | Report abuse |
  7. Reed

    I'm not surprised by this lapse in security. Anyone who has had the misfortune of dealing with SC government employees here in Columbia, SC is not surprised either. It's one massive affirmative action operation.

    October 26, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • dondijon

      Affirmative action is one of many things wrong with America, and over the years I've made this observation that affirmative action is an exersise of Stupidity, It emplaces persons in positions, not by qualification but by apperence... and is the epitome of race based descrimination to quell the consciences of the racist.

      October 27, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sam

    Republicans aren't too smart.

    October 26, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • dondijon

      But they seem to have most of the money, Now why is that???

      October 27, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank Pierce

      Americans aren't too partisan or blind.

      October 28, 2012 at 12:27 am | Report abuse |
  9. Pinkflam

    "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."

    Oh Goody! And in order to take advantage of credit protection services, I have to give them even more personal information so they can leave that unprotected. Why aren't these people in jail?

    October 26, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. AnonObserver

    The penalties for hacking are always insufficient.

    October 26, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mark James

    This one was easy. I got the first one, and then I hacked the next 3.59 million by repeatedly adding 1.

    October 26, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  12. JayT

    I think I will vote Obama just because idiots like you are annoying...

    October 26, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Axios

    It was God's will...

    October 27, 2012 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
  14. more2bits

    So when is Obama going to get tough and declare was on Iran or at least use clones and take out their computers ?

    NEVER JUST LIKE HE WONT KEEP HIS HANDS OUT OF YOUR POCKETS

    October 27, 2012 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
  15. Your Gut Feeling

    Please can we stop trying to make every Republican voter out there racist? There's a lot of you out here that need to take a big step back and hear what you're saying then look at yourself in 3rd person. Our President could be Asian and you'd still probably call Republicans racist. It's a shame you've come to this and it's more shameful to who and what you represent.

    October 27, 2012 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Chooch0253

      I have never seen or heard of a single person from S.C. from the top (Governor) on down that has ever said anything about President Obama that was not an insult or racist. Have you? The fact you would even use the example of an "Asian" to support your belief if pretty contrary to your own posting.

      October 27, 2012 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
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