Cyber attack spurs call for meetings in Lake Wylie and Tega Cay

Norman, Pope working on date and location

jmarks@lakewyliepilot.comNovember 27, 2012 

— State legislators hope to lay out the facts on two hot-button issues that could affect residents throughout Lake Wylie.

Rep. Ralph Norman and Rep. Tommy Pope are planning a public meeting with experts from Columbia on the recent cyber hacking of state financial information and changes to healthcare rules. Norman is still working on a date and location for the meeting. He’s planning a similar meeting in Tega Cay.

“I would rather do it sooner than later,” he said, “but I’m not sure the timing will let us.”

Norman expects to have those dates and locations set by early next week.

S.C. Department of Revenue and Gov. Nikki Haley announced the end of October about 3.6 million Social Security numbers and 387,000 credit and debit card numbers were accessed in a cyber attack. The revenue department was informed of the attack Oct. 10 by the state Division of Information Technology.

“The number of records breached requires an unprecedented, large-scale response by the Department of Revenue, the state of South Carolina and all our citizens,” states an Oct. 26 news release from Haley. “We are taking immediate steps to protect the taxpayers of South Carolina.”

Residents need to act promptly to protect their personal information, Norman said, and experts from the governor’s office will help show them how.

“People think it’s not going to happen to them, but this is urgent,” he said.

The other meeting topic is healthcare, specifically the issue of a state-based healthcare exchange resulting from passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

“That’s going to impact everybody, and I’m particularly concerned about our senior citizens,” Norman said.

Hack update

Haley updated the security breach Wednesday, which has brought in more than 800,000 calls. There were 3.8 million filings compromised, she said, which included 1.9 million dependents. Almost 700,000 business were impacted, 3.3 million bank accounts and 5,000 credit cards.

Some hacked information dates back to 1998, though most is more recent.

“It seems to mostly be after the year 2002,” Haley said in a news conference.

Only electronic filings were impacted. Haley said Wednesday the state now knows who all was impacted and will send letters within seven days, or an email to those who already took security steps to protect themselves.

No encryption or dual verification to get into the system, older equipment and federal compliance that didn’t require certain safeguards created a “cocktail for attack,” the governor said.

“Did we have a chance to do a better job?” Haley asked. “And we did.”

The state is warning residents not to give out personal information to scammers who may come asking for it claiming they represent the state. The revenue department is asking state residents to visit protectmyid.com/scdor and enter the code SCDOR123 before Jan. 31, or to call 866-578-5422.

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