SC’s massive data breach 10 years later: Questions linger as investigation remains open | Columbia News


COLUMBIA — S.C. Department of Revenue Director James Etter’s office phone rang late in the morning on Oct. 10, 2012, with a call that would change the course of how South Carolina approached cybersecurity over the next decade.

On the line were U.S. Secret Service agents from Atlanta, who said someone had hacked his agency, responsible for all personal and business tax records in the state.

“How could this happen?” Etter thought.

Using an email with a link encrypted with malware, cyber criminals made off with the income tax returns of 6.4 million South Carolina residents and businesses — exposing 3.6 million Social Security numbers, impacting more than three-quarters of the state’s population at the time — and 387,000 credit and debit card numbers.


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