UPDATE: SC provides easier free credit monitoring after breach

Cyber attack
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News 12 at 11 o'clock / Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- The State of South Carolina has been hacked.

"People feel very vulnerable. Understandable," said Rep. Bill Taylor of South Carolina House District 86.

Dozens of emails have flowed into our newsroom. Many of you fear your identities and financial well-being are at risk.

"This is not a good day for South Carolina," said Gov. Nikki Haley on Friday, standing beside South Carolina Law Enforcement Chief Mark Keel.

She said a hacker probed the system five times since August. The latest attack, they say, happened in mid-September. They learned of the security breach about 16 days ago but say the hole has been filled.

"Look, there's 3.6 million names out there and Social Security, and almost 400,000 credit cards and debit cards, some of not encrypted," said Rep. Taylor, who represents a large portion of Aiken County.

He'll be on a conference call with other legislators Monday morning to find out the latest. While the state does have a plan, you have to call an 800 number to get an activation code for credit protection. Most people have just been hearing a busy tone or nothing at all.

The state has released a universal activation code for all current and former South Carolina residents. That activation code is SCDOR123. Enter the code at the website www.protectmyid.com/scdor, or, if you don't have access to internet, call 866-578-5422. Phone lines are open Monday thorough Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Once activated, you will be enrolled for one full year of free credit monitoring provided by Experian.

But Taylor says this breach indicates something bigger.

"Cyber terrorism, or cyber theft, there are 300,000 incidents a day. The U.S. Government alone gets 15,000 a day," he said.

South Carolina was victim this time. Taylor says the state will continue to work diligently to protect all who need protecting.

The South Carolina Department of Revenue does plan to contact South Carolina residents who were affected as soon as it figures out the extent of what data was stolen.

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