State officials are warning South Carolina taxpayers that 3.6 million Social Security numbers and other personal data was exposed in a recent attack on Department of Revenue servers.
Anyone who filed a state return since 1998 are asked to call (866) 578-5422 or visit protectmyid.com/scdor. The state is providing a year of credit monitoring and identity theft protection to anyone impacted by the breach.
In addition to Social Security numbers, some 387,00 credit card numbers were exposed; all but 16,000 of them were encrypted.
During a Friday press conference, Mike Williams, the director of the Secret Service in South Carolina, called the data heist one of the largest the agency has seen.
Governor Nikki Haley underscored the scale of the attack. “The number of records breached requires an unprecedented, large-scale response by the Department of Revenue, the State of South Carolina and all our citizens.”
News reports indicate state employees learned of the breach on Oct. 10 and installed surveillance tools to catch the hacker, whose access was shut down 10 days later. Investigators believe the intrusions began in late August and the data was first stolen in mid-September.
Anyone who paid their taxes by credit card should check their statements for unusual activity and consider a security or credit freeze to prevent illegal use of the financial data.