Hacker Steals 3.6 Million South Carolina Social Security No & Also Exposed 387,000 Card Details

Hacker Steals 3.6 Million South Carolina Social Security Number & Also Exposed 387,000 Card Details

The year 2012 is going from bad to worse for the cyber space, as yet another big data breach happened which effected more than 4.7 million residents of South Carolina at risk of identity theft. Anyone who filed a South Carolina tax return in the past 14 years may have had their Social Security number stolen and has been urged by the state government to immediately enroll in consumer protection services. The U.S. Secret Service detected a security breach at the S.C. Department of Revenue on Oct. 10, but it took state officials 10 days to close the attacker’s access and another six days to inform the public that 3.6 million Social Security numbers had been compromised. The attack also exposed 387,000 credit and debit card numbers. The stolen data included other information people file with their tax returns such as names and addresses. Businesses’ taxpayer identification numbers also potentially have been comprised in the attack that is being described as one of the nation’s largest against a state agency. The hacker began accessing the Department of Revenue’s computer system in August, but wasn’t noticed by the Secret Service until October, giving him about two months to gather the data in what is one of the largest computer breaches in the US. Most of the data had not been encrypted, meaning the hacker would not need a key to a secret code to read the stolen data. Revenue director James Etter said none of the Social Security numbers were encrypted and about 16,000 credit card numbers were not encrypted.
“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,” South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said during a news conference. “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.” 
S.C. Inspector General Patrick Maley said nine agencies had been evaluated thus far, and some corrective action had been taken. There was no overarching security policy within state government, he said. No one at the Revenue Department or within the state’s information technology division has been disciplined over the latest attack.  
While this case of hacking was the largest in US history, it wasn’t the first. On March 30, 2012, officials in Utah discovered that one of their health department servers had been hacked. That time also a large number of Social Security numbers were stolen from the serverincluding those of children. Here we would like to give you reminder that in the last few months we have been a slew of attacks against the following sites: AdobeGuild Wars 2GamigoBlizzardYahooLinkedIneHarmonyFormspringAndroid ForumsGamigo,  NvidiaBlizzard and  Philips. And after this breach Adobe also enlisted its name among those who was fallen victim to cyber criminals in this year. For all the latest on cyber security and hacking related stories; stay tuned with VOGH


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