Haley admits hacking errors; revenue chief resigns
Wed, 21 Nov 2012 12:10:00 GMT —
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP/WACH) -- Gov. Nikki Haley says a report on a cyber-attack on South Carolina's tax collection agency shows officials could have done more to protect the personal information of nearly 4 million individual filers and 700,000 businesses.
Haley also said Tuesday that Department of Revenue Director Jim Etter has resigned, effective Dec. 31.
"Jim and I both agreed that the Department of Revenue needs a new set of eyes," said Haley.
She says the report from computer security firm Mandiant found Revenue should have required dual verification for someone trying to access tax returns and should have encrypted Social Security numbers.
"When you combine the fact that we had 1970's equipment combined with the fact that we were IRS compliant was a cocktail for an attack," said Haley.
The breach involved those who filed electronically, dating to 1998 but mostly since 2002. Haley says the hacker stole 3.3 million unencrypted bank account numbers, as well as 5,000 expired credit card numbers.
Mandiant identified precisely whose information was stolen. Those taxpayers will be notified by email or letter.
Governor Haley plans to meet with state lawmakers to discuss ways to better protect taxpayers.
Experian may expand their credit protection program to offer more protection for South Carolina residents.