Monthly Newsletter for November 2012

by in Newsletter on Nov. 1, 2012

South Carolina Suffers Cyber-Attack


“Approximately 3.6 million Social Security numbers and 387,000 credit and debit card numbers have been exposed in a cyber attack,” the South Carolina Department of Revenue announced.


Anyone who has filed a tax return in South Carolina from 1998 through 2012 may have had their Social Security number, credit card number or debit card number compromised by the data theft.


The Department of Revenue has set up a special telephone hotline (1-866-578-5422 and special Web page ( to assist South Carolina taxpayers.  Also, a one-year, free credit protection is being provided by visiting,  Please follow those instructions to set up this protection.


“This incident affects more than three-quarters of South Carolina’s 4.6 million population,” reports Anthony Kosner at Forbes.


South Carolina’s Governor Nikki Haley said, “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.”


State government officials urged taxpayers to review their credit reports, place fraud alerts with credit reporting bureaus, and to place security freezes with the credit bureaus.


Taxpayers may also consider monitoring their bank and credit card statements closely for transactions that they do not recognize.


South Carolina’s Division of Information Technology informed the Department of Revenue of a potential attack on their computer network systems involving the theft of taxpayer data on October 10, 2012, and investigations were begun.  On October 16, investigators discovered that at least five attempts had been made to probe the Department of Revenue’s computers systems and that data had been stolen in mid-September.  The state claims that the security vulnerability was closed by October 20, and that their computer system is now “to the best of the department’s knowledge secure.”  A more detailed chronology of the events that transpired is available on the Department of Revenue’s Web site.