A recent cyber attack on South Carolina’s Department of Revenue has affected more than three quarters of the state’s population. The hack resulted in the theft of 3.6 million Social Security numbers and nearly 400k debit and credit card numbers.
Although the attack was described as the work of an “international hacker,” few details are being released about the attacker’s identity whilst the investigation is under way. Forbes reports that it is scandalous, yet unsurprising, that cyber security was not mentioned more during the presidential debates and says that someday, probably not too long from now, cyber security will be as important as health insurance and Social Security.
South Carolina will provide affected individuals, which is almost anyone who has filed a South Carolina tax return since 1998, with a year of free Experian credit monitoring and identity theft protection. The cost will be enormous but drives home an important point. Not only should individuals and businesses be looking at ways to protect themselves against cyber threats, but both the federal and state governments need to start addressing this growing, and very expensive, issue.