More than 3.6 million people in the state of South Carolina may be at risk for identity theft
as a result of an attack on the state's tax agency that exposed personal and financial information.
The 3.6 million people involved in the breach, accounting for those who paid taxes in the state at any point between 1998 and today, had their Social Security numbers compromised, according to a report from the state's Department of Revenue
. However, another 387,000 debit and credit card numbers may have been exposed as well, including 16,000 that were unencrypted.
The attacks are believed to have taken place throughout August and September, though only two separate incidents in the middle of the latter month actually led to the exposed data, the report said. Earlier attempts may have been designed to probe the system's vulnerabilities, which the DOR says have since been fixed. Ondrej Krehel
, chief information security officer for IDentity Theft 911, has a blog about the ways in which data breaches
can deeply affect both consumers and organizations, and what can be done to increase protections.
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