Ever paid taxes in SC: You’ve probably been hacked

About an hour ago, WLTX broke a story about hackers.  It seems foreign hackers have broken into the Department of Revenue’s computers in the state of South Carolina and stolen 3.6 million social security numbers — from a state with 4.7 million residents.  Essentially, if you’ve paid taxes since 1998, your information has been compromised.

It gets worse — they’ve also stolen hundreds of thousands of credit card numbers.

I called the Department of Revenue who answered the phone, “It’s a great day in South Carolina, how can I help you?” and proceeded not to know anything about the breach.  Fortunately, she talked to someone else who I think googled it and found the news story that had a different number to call.  I called the number provided, which was for Experian, and got the following information:

They do not know whose information in particular has been stolen.  The breach in which the info was taken happened end to mid September and the state learned about it October 10th. They’re working with law enforcement so there shouldn’t be a problem for anyone.

In addition, the state of SC is providing one year free credit monitoring and ID protection through Experian for everyone who may have been breached.  They will be mailing out access codes to the protectmyid website or you can sign up on the phone through the 866-578-5422 number.  I signed up over the phone and it was relatively painless.

I don’t know how necessary the signing up thing is, but I feel like if something did happen the state would be more responsive to me if I’d shown an interest in protecting myself.  The website is sort of questionable — it lists all my student loans twice for some reason.  That was a number I didn’t like seeing.

Perhaps SC should invest in proper IT specialists instead of spending it’s legislative capital on phone greetings.

There will be a briefing 1:30 EST

http://www.wltx.com/video/breakingvideo.aspx