COLUMBIA — A former state senator has added a pair of defendants to a lawsuit against Gov. Nikki Haley and the S.C. Department of Revenue over the massive breach of a Revenue Department database.
John Hawkins, Republican attorney from Spartanburg, filed the class actionsuit in Richland County last Wednesday on behalf of a 60-year-old Spartanburg resident.
On Monday, Hawkins announced he had added Trustwave and the Division of State Information Technology to the suit.
As the Post and Courier first reported last week, the Revenue Department was using Trustwave, a cyber security provider, to monitor the systems that were ultimately breached in the cyber attack.
Unlike many state agencies, school districts and local governments, the Revenue Department was not using security offered by the Division of State Information Technology.
The Revenue Department declined to use the free service, but has since signed up for it in the wake of the breach.
As an agency that processes credit card information, the Revenue Department had to use a national company, such as Trustwave, that was approved by credit card companies, Haley’s office said last week.
Hawkins said in a release Monday that his lawsuit will show the reasons given by the Revenue Department for using Trustwave, that the service was compliant with payment card industry standards, apply only to credit card numbers and not Social Security numbers.
The breach included 3.6 million Social Security numbers for people who had paid state taxes since 1998.
“The public is forced with the threat of jail to pay taxes and give their personal information to SCDOR, and yet SCDOR took only the flimsiest steps to protect this private data, leaving South Carolina the most vulnerable target for hackers of any state in the Union,” Hawkins said in the release.
Read more in tomorrow’s editions of The Post and Courier. Reach Stephen Largen at 864-641-8172 and follow him on Twitter @stephenlargen.