2013 was a year of many changes to the U.S. tax code, and some of the most significant changes were targeted at raising taxes on high-income Americans. The fiscal cliff tax deal created a new 39.6 percent income tax...
- The Tax Policy Blog
- South Carolina Tax Collector Leaves After Cyberattack Acc...
South Carolina Tax Collector Leaves After Cyberattack Accesses Taxpayer Records
South Carolina Department of Revenue Director Jim Etter will leave office effective December 31, after a cyberattack on his office gained access to tax return information from 3.8 million taxpayers (including Social Security numbers) and bank account information from 3.3 million taxpayers. The attack occurred because a revenue department employee downloaded a malicious e-mail attachment, giving the hacker password information to access the system.
From The State:
The hackers took tax information of people who file electronically, Haley said. People who file paper returns did not have their information taken. Most of the records taken go back to 2002, [Governor] Haley said, but some records date back to 1998.
The state will send letters or emails to taxpayers whose information was stolen, Haley said.
The hackers used a stolen employee password to access state tax records. The thieves got the password when a revenue department employee opened an email with a malicious computer program, said Mandiant, a Washington computer forensics firm hired by the state to investigate the incident.
The Associated Press explains further what went wrong:
Last week, Haley ordered all of her 16 Cabinet agencies to use computer monitoring by the state information technology division. The revenue department has been criticized for previously turning down its free services. Haley is also transferring personnel to the state IT division, so that an employee can monitor Cabinet agencies' systems around the clock. All Cabinet agencies must also use a Mandiant service, dubbed "the hand," designed to shut down a computer if data is being improperly transferred.
Haley also requested that the IRS require encryption of Social Security numbers for electronic tax return processing.
South Carolina residents are being offered state-subsidized credit monitoring, which they can sign up for by calling 1-866-578-5422 or going to www.protectmyid.com/scdor and using the activation code "scdor123." The call center is open 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM EST on Monday through Friday and 11:00 AM - 8:00 PM EST on Saturday and Sunday.
Get Email Updates from the Tax Foundation
We will never sell or share your information with third parties.
Join the Tax Foundation's fight for sound tax policy Go
About the Tax Policy Blog
The Tax Policy Blog is the official blog of the Tax Foundation, a non-partisan, non-profit research organization that has monitored tax policy at the federal, state and local levels since 1937. Our economists welcome your feedback. If you would like to send an e-mail to the author of a blog post, please click on that person's name to locate his or her e-mail address or visit our staff page here.