Reactions to news of massive cyber-attack on South Carolina’s taxpayer records
Following are some of the reactions to the news that 3.6 million Social Security numbers and 387,000 credit card numbers were exposed in a cyber-attack:
Ladson F. Mills III of Johns Island
Mills already had identity theft protection, and when this news broke, he called his company. He was told it already had been alerted by the state, and he thought that was positive.
Although some have criticized the state for the time lag in informing residents about the information breach, Mills said he thought that was understandable.
“I thought the state responded very well,” he said. “Even the most sophisticated system in the world can be broken into. I hope we catch them.”
Randy Guy of Summerville
About a half-hour after the news broke Friday, Guy received a call from his bank’s fraud division that his account was being targeted for a $1,000 purchase in Thailand and a separate questionable transaction from the West Coast.
“I’m going, ‘You’re kidding me,’ ” he said.
He spent the next hour trying to reach Experian to register for its services. He questioned why the state put the burden on residents to be responsible for enlisting themselves in credit monitoring instead of doing the heavy lifting and taking care of that.
He said he’s spent the past day getting in touch with friends who used to live here and moved to let them know what happened. They didn’t have a clue they were affected, he said.
“It blows my mind to think that someone is not getting fired over this,” Guy said.
Dick Harpootlian, S.C. Democratic Party chairman
“Maybe if (Gov. Nikki Haley) spent more time doing her job in South Carolina rather than traveling around the country raising money and playing politics, someone would have been paying attention and not let more than a third of our state’s personal information be compromised.
If she were the CEO of a company that had a third of its data hacked, especially after all the public warnings of the danger of hackers, she would be fired. Too bad she has two more years on her contract.”
Jackie Hughes of James Island
Hughes said she’s worried that the services being offered through Experian aren’t enough to protect her, and she wonders who’s going to pick up the tab on that expense after a year. And all of the services offered on its site aren’t free, she said.
It’s ironic that residents are told not to give out their Social Security number, but they’re required to give it out to almost everyone, she said.
“It’s totally confusing,” she said. “This is unbelievable.”
House Speaker Bobby Harrell, R-Charleston
“Along with all South Carolinians, legislators in the General Assembly were shocked to learn of the cyber hacking infiltration of some of our citizens’ most sensitive personal information. We commend the Department of Revenue, the Governor’s Office and federal authorities for taking quick action once alerted of this data security penetration. As our state addresses all the concerns that this security infiltration raises, the General Assembly is prepared to act in any fashion necessary to assist in remedying this situation.”