Cyberattack Reveals 3.6 Million Social Security NumbersLive in South Carolina? Watch out: an unprecedented cyberattack might have just revealed your social security number to the world. 3.6 million social security numbers from South Carolina are now in the wild, thanks to an attack of foreign origin. That's over half of the entire state's population exposed in a moment.
In addition to that, 387,000 credit card numbers were exposed, though the government comforts that 'only' 16,000 were unencrypted.
Speaking about the incident, South Carolina governor Nikki Haley said:
The number of records breached requires an unprecedented, large-scale response by the Department of Revenue, the State of South Carolina and all our citizensand
this is not a good day for South Carolina.
On the plus side, this is great news for Experian, a company that specializes in identity protection. If you happen to be one of the ones afflicted (call 1-866-578-5422 to find out) then the state of South Carolina will give you a free year of Experian ProtectMyID service.
This is not the first attack launched by the perpetrator, though it is likely the last in this campaign. Smaller exploratory attacks started on the 27th of August, and have been continuing until today. As attacks like that aren't uncommon, no red flags were raised until the attack was perpetrated.
Apparently the sophistication of the attack took the governor by surprise, who immediately signed an executive order demanding that cybersecurity measures be improved. And for those states that haven't been affected by the attack, this should be a sobering reminder that electronic warfare does have real-world consequences.
As The Verge notes, this might eventually be a good thing. Who knows? Maybe we'll get a more secure form of identification out of all this.