3.6 million Social Security numbers exposed by cyber attack

The state of South Carolina has admitted that a recent cyber attack has resulted in a large amount of Social Security numbers being exposed by whomever launched the attack. The state government's Department of Revenue said that over 3.6 million Social Security numbers were taken from their servers, along with 387,000 credit and debit card numbers.

The state's press release said that the government first became aware of the attack on October 10. One attack, which was apparently more of a probe, was determined to have happened in August, and three more occurred in mid-September. The state said that there was a vulnerability discovered in the state's computer system and that was closed on October 20th.

South Carolina residents who have had their private information taken as a result of the attack are eligible to receive a free one year identity protection service from Experian. However, GreenvilleOnline.com reports that the website and phone numbers set up by the state government for this protection were overwhelmed due to the large number of visitors to the site as well as phone calls.

The investigation is still ongoing and there is no word as to which person or group might be responsible for the cyber attacks.

Source: South Carolina Department of Revenue
South Carolina sign image by Shutterstock

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19 Comments

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Its the same all over the world. Its just bigger news when it happens to america. It would not be big news if it happened in the uk with national insurance number.

Ironic for them to use experian, the company you should never trust as shown recently on BBC watchdog.

And companies want us to put personal information out on the Internet, or worse, want us to put sensitive information out in "the Cloud." Clearly, a "I don't think so" situation.

Brian Miller said,
Why were they not encrypted, salted and and re-encoded?

Typical State (Federal and Local) government employee mentality. Sorry people, but the damning evidence is just too much to ignore.

I love how the State is giving its residents 1 year of credit monitoring and after that, its their problem. Once the info is out on the net, it will never go away! We need to do away with SSN numbers as a means of identification and assign numbers to all citizens that can be changed/re-issued if their identity gets stolen, like a credit card.

AR556 said,
I love how the State is giving its residents 1 year of credit monitoring and after that, its their problem. Once the info is out on the net, it will never go away! We need to do away with SSN numbers as a means of identification and assign numbers to all citizens that can be changed/re-issued if their identity gets stolen, like a credit card.

That sounds like a grand solution but that won't work....
The problem would be for example- all of those manual papers that can't be changed that had your SS# since now you have a new one you can't reflect it to the old.

redvamp128 said,

That sounds like a grand solution but that won't work....
The problem would be for example- all of those manual papers that can't be changed that had your SS# since now you have a new one you can't reflect it to the old.

You would just have to obtain new Papers, simple as that. When your credit card gets re-issued, you have to update accounts, so this is the same thing, only a little more work. Not a perfect solution, but we obviously cannot rely on a single, static SSN to get us through life in this day and age.

You kind of missed the point.... There are places / times / and things that will always be linked to your social .
I know for example my father's Air Force Number was tied to his S.S. number
Would you think the USAF would go back and change all those documents??? We are talking both MEDICAL and SERVICE (1968-1977)
Not to mention his High School which is no longer there... only records are PAPER with his Name and Social. (You think a hall of records is going to allow that change??)

Not so simple ... I am guessing you were born after the digital age.

I know over 1/2 my Military records show my Social and would not be able to be changed.

Also a few places that I worked used my SS for my employee number.


Not so simple .

AR556 said,
I love how the State is giving its residents 1 year of credit monitoring and after that, its their problem. Once the info is out on the net, it will never go away! We need to do away with SSN numbers as a means of identification and assign numbers to all citizens that can be changed/re-issued if their identity gets stolen, like a credit card.

This will also never work because it means anyone can dissapear and doesn't even really have to exist, e.g. think more fraud and false voting, etc.

AR556 said,
I love how the State is giving its residents 1 year of credit monitoring and after that, its their problem. Once the info is out on the net, it will never go away! We need to do away with SSN numbers as a means of identification and assign numbers to all citizens that can be changed/re-issued if their identity gets stolen, like a credit card.

You can keep SSNs but not use them as a form of identification. A couple of banks now ask you for your drivers license number when signing up for an account online. That way even if you fake / use someone elses SSN, the drivers license wouldn't match up.