S.C. lawmakers to take closer look at personal information breach

by: Jeff Smith Updated:

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SOUTH CAROLINA - South Carolina lawmakers said they want hard answers from a report due this week about a massive breach of personal information from tax returns.

The state is paying millions of dollars for credit monitoring and one lawmaker explained the tough budget cuts that'll likely happen because of this disaster.

This week, an investigative report will explain how hackers were able to steal information from 4.5 million South Carolina residents including social security and credit card numbers.

The state is spending about $14 million to investigate the security breakdown and also to provide free credit monitoring. So far, 700,000 people have signed up.

“I think it'll make us scrutinize every line item in the budget,” said S.C. Rep. Ralph Norman.

The bill will only grow over time. Norman said many social service programs will have be trimmed next year because of the tax hack. He said there's no other choice.

“You’ve got aid to the cities that will be looked at, you've got aid to the counties that will be looked at,” Norman said.

No state employee has been fired for the breach. S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley is waiting for this week's report.

So is Norman.

“The main thing I hope is to get a solution to the problem,” Norman said. “How it happened is minor compared to we don't want it to happen again. The report when it comes out I hope it will issue some pretty strong statements on what's done to make it's encrypted.”

The state department of revenue said anyone who filed South Carolina taxes over the last 14 years should assume their private information has been hacked.

The free credit monitoring service won't prevent fraud, but will warn customers sooner if it happens.