News & Resources

Millions of South Carolina residents' identities at risk following major breach

Nov 02, 2012 Dave King

Earlier this year, a study from Javelin Strategy & Research found incidences of identity theft to be increasing in South Carolina - jumping 15 percent from 2010 to 2011. Now, nearly two months later, the state government is reporting that more than 3.6 million residents' identities may be in jeopardy following a breach at its Department of Revenue, PCWorld reports. The alleged international hacker stole approximately 3.6 million Social Security numbers and 387,000 credit and debit card numbers belonging to individuals living in South Carolina. Fortunately, all but 16,000 of the credit and debit card numbers were encrypted, according to the news source. "While details are still emerging, we can already say that this breach of records at the South Carolina Department of Revenue is exceptional, both in terms of the large number of records compromised and the potential damage to confidence in state government that may result," Stephen Cobb of the security firm ESET told PCWorld. Governor Nikki Haley has declined to comment on where the hacker is from, so as not to stymie law enforcement investigations.