After a server at South Carolina’s Department of Revenue was breached by an international hacker, 3.6 million Social Security numbers and 387,000 credit and debit card numbers were exposed, according to InfoWorld.com.
The state will provide affected South Carolina taxpayers with a year of credit monitoring and identity theft protection service from Experian.
“Anyone who has filed a South Carolina tax return since 1998 is urged to visit protectmyid.com/scdor or call 1-866-578-5422 to determine if their information is affected,” the Department said.
Officials said that all but 16,000 of the credit and debit card numbers were encrypted.
A security evangelist at a security firm said, “Encryption of the data may slow down the process by which the stolen records are converted into cash through identity theft and fraudulent accounts, although that will also depend on the strength of the encryption.”
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley described the attack as international and “creative in nature.”
The governor said she knew where the attack originated from, but declined to name the location because it might hurt the law enforcement investigation. She did, however, say she wants the hacker “slammed to the wall.”
“We want to make sure everybody understands that our state will respond with a big, large-scale plan that is somewhat unprecedented to take care of this problem,” Haley said.
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