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SC Security Breach: The Updates

On Wednesday 14 November, Governor Haley ordered enhanced security measures for the sixteen state agencies (including the Dept. of Revenue) that form her Cabinet. Their computer networks will be monitored by the Division of State Information Technology, with four employees assigned to 24/7 monitoring duties.

Another enhancement is a progam nicknamed "The Hand," which can shut down computer systems when it detects attempts at data theft and is being supplied by the security firm Mandiant. The same firm also has a contract with the state to investigate the initial hacking of the Dept. of Revenue's system. The total cost to the state of repairing and responding to the security breach is expected to exceed $14 million.

As of this date, state officials are still awaiting a full report from investigators that they can share with the public. Precisely whose tax records have been hacked has not been divulged, but the total number of records stolen (both individual and business) is now estimated at 4.5 million. Security experts say the hackers will most likely try to commit fraud using information gleaned from the tax returns of high-income individuals and businesses.

If you still have not signed up for free monitoring of your credit information, please read the instructions for doing so in this earlier post. Here you will also learn about placing a fraud alert on your credit report or freezing your credit data. On 13 November the Dept. of Revenue released an expanded version of its original FAQ sheet on the security breach, which you can read here. The SC Dept. of Consumer Affairs also provides access to various flyers on dealing with ID theft.

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