Oct 29, 2012

South Carolina tax returns exposed by computer hacker

An international hacker broke into the South Carolina Department of Revenue computer files and gained access to about 3.6 million tax returns, state and federal officials announced October 26th.

The Governor of South Carolina said the hacked files included state returns submitted since 1998 with unencrypted Social Security numbers. There also were about 387,000 credit and debit card numbers of which 16,000 were unencrypted.

Officials said people whose information has been compromised will get a free year of identity protection service provided by Experian and paid for by the state. It wasn't clear how much that would cost the state.

Anyone who filed a South Carolina tax from 1998 onward is being asked to call 1-866-578-5422. All taxpayers, whether they filed electronically or with paper returns are being urged to call the number.
In addition to working with the federal government, the state has hired Mandiant, a private information security company, to assist in the investigation.

Earlier this year, the personal information of 228,000 Medicaid patients was stolen in South Carolina and a former Department of Health and Human Services project manager was arrested.

Well, this sounds like another reason why I will never live in the great state of South Carolina.

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