By Nick Simeone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 28, 2012 – The Defense Department and South Carolina officials are notifying military members and families who paid state income taxes there that they may have been victims of information/identity theft as a result of several recent cyber intrusions.
South Carolina’s Department of Revenue reported nearly four million Social Security numbers and several hundred thousand credit and debit card numbers belonging to current and former taxpayers may have been stolen during cyber intrusions in August and September.
While the vast majority of the personal data is believed to have been protected by encryption, state revenue officials said about 16,000 accounts were not, and that anyone who filed a South Carolina income tax return as far back as 1998 could be affected.
The intrusions were discovered last month, officials said. While South Carolina officials believe their system is now secure, Gov. Nikki Haley said the state is offering one year of free credit monitoring and identity protection to anyone who might have been exposed and applies for it. “The number of records breached requires an unprecedented, large-scale response,” she said.
In addition to Social Security numbers and credit card information, defense officials said information usually found on the front of checks may also have been exposed.
DOD personnel and their family members who are current or former South Carolina taxpayers, especially those who are living abroad, are urged to visit www.ProtectMyId.com/SCDOR or contact Experian’s national consumer assistance center at 1-866-578-5422 by January 31, 2013, to enroll in identity theft protection.
In addition, current and former South Carolina business owners may also contact Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp., officials said. Visit www.DandB.com/SC to initiate the registration process or call 1-800-279-9881.
An investigation into the source of the cyber intrusion continues.