LEAD LETTER OF THE WEEK

S.C. hacking scandal boggles the mind

December 30, 2012 

As a concerned citizen of South Carolina, I have been following the hacking of the S.C. Department of Revenue from the beginning. I just cannot fathom how something of this magnitude could have occurred.

Don’t people know how to write computer programs any longer? I was a computer programmer / systems analyst in the financial area for almost 30 years and had I written a program as bad as the one(s) that the Department of Revenue use, I would have been out the door quicker than you can say “Nikki Haley.”

I also read that the data was not encrypted and they are playing the blame game on that. Common sense dictates that when you are handling sensitive information, it is encrypted, and any good IT department should know this. It is my understanding that the person who let the hacker gain access to these records is still employed and the only resignation to date is the bureau chief.

According to a Dec. 23 article in The Sun News, 2.6 million people’s personal information has been hacked dating back to 1998; an astounding number. All the Governor is offering is one free year of Experian credit monitoring and possible considering another one.

The credit card number hacking is not what is problematic to me as I carry few credit cards and they have never disagreed with me when I wanted a disputed charge removed. Rather, the concern lies with the theft of Social Security numbers, which ultimately can lead to Identity theft. I know a few people who have been victims of identity theft and it took them months of phone calls and written correspondence to get it straightened out; a virtual nightmare.

I don’t think the citizens of South Carolina should have to pay one cent for anything and I think that anyone whose personal information such as a Social Security number and tax return were hacked should have free service for life from one of these identity theft monitoring companies such as Life Lock.

There is really no excuse for what happened. They should be held totally accountable.

The writer lives in Myrtle Beach

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