Hacker gains access to 3.6 million SC tax returns

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Associated Press

Posted on October 26, 2012 at 7:04 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 26 at 7:04 PM

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — State and federal officials say an international hacker broke into the South Carolina Department of Revenue computer files and gained access to about 3.6 million tax returns.

Gov. Nikki Haley said the hacked files included state returns submitted since 1998 with unencrypted Social Security numbers. There also were about 387,000 credit and debit card numbers of which 16,000 were unencrypted.

Officials said people whose information has been compromised will get a free year of identity protection service provided by Experian and paid for by the state.

State Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel said state officials learned of the problem on Oct. 10 from the U.S. Secret Service. He said the hacker may have gotten into the files as early as late August.

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