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Update 11/9/2012: The Sun News put together a Q&A article that answers many questions on tax payers' minds.
What happens after a year when the monitoring stops? Are children covered? Is anything being done to protect the elderly or those without internet access to register for the monitoring protection? You can find all the questions and the answers here.
Update 11/1/2012: While many people have redeemed the Experian offer to cover their personal matters, what about businesses? There's two options being offered starting this week.
The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce sent out an alert to their members with details on the offers earlier today:
Gov. Nikki Haley held a news conference late yesterday afternoon to announce that at least 657,000 South Carolina businesses were also affected by the recent Department of Revenue security breach.
Starting Friday, November 2nd, Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. will assist businesses in credit monitoring, providing alerts to businesses in real time and at no cost. Business owners can visit dandb.com/sc beginning Friday at 8 a.m. or call (800) 279-9881.
Experian is offering businesses a self-monitoring service that allows unlimited access to a company's business credit report and score. Beginning today, Nov. 1, South Carolina businesses can sign up for Business Credit Advantage at smartbusinessreports.com/SouthCarolina.
On Facebook yesterday we reported the announcement of a class action lawsuit being organized by an upstate law firm. You can read the news release and filing here. (PDF file)
Update 10/21/2012: Calling the SC Department of Revenue to get the Experian activation code is no longer necessary.
Just go here and enter "SCDOR123" (All capital letters, no quotes)
First Report: State and federal agencies have confirmed that 3.6 million Social Security numbers and nearly 400,000 credit card and debit numbers have been compromised.
WLTX out of Columbia along with The Greenville News, and USA Today have uncovered the breach of the South Carolina Department of Revenue's website by overseas hackers. According to WLTX, "The agency is responsible for 32 separate state taxes, licenses, and your state income tax returns, and that contains your information." The Sun News has an AP story with even more details. You can read that here.
Since there are 4.7 million residents in South Carolina, there is a good chance that you might be a victim of this hack. Anyone that has filed a tax return since 1998 is urged to call 1-866-578-5422 to receive an activation code for one year of free Experian credit monitoring.
"This is not a good day for South Carolina."
-Governor Nikki Haley
Details have revealed that the attacks may have been executed since August. State officials were made aware of the breach nearly two weeks ago and have reassured the public that the security holes have been plugged. Governor Haley has made multiple statements about catching the person or group responsible but the reality is the perpetrators are likely overseas and nearly impossible to track down. Beside, the information that was stolen has already been sold and distributed.
According to The Verge, in reaction to the attacks Haley has,
"signed an executive order calling for the state's government to improve information security policies. Previous regulations were uncoordinated and left South Carolina vulnerable, she said. Cyber security has become a priority of the Obama administration and other government representatives and it stands to reason that a real-world breach of this magnitude will bring that conversation back to the forefront in the days and weeks ahead."
You can read the executive order below.