Pentagon Warns South Carolina Troops of Data Breach
The Department of Defense has issued a formal notification to all soldiers currently or formerly stationed in South Carolina of a possible large-scale data breach. The breach could cause personally-identifiable information to fall into unauthorized hands, including, potentially, the hands of identity theft rings.
The South Carolina Department of Revenue has reported that hundreds of thousands of credit card numbers and the Social Security Numbers of nearly 4 million people were stolen in a series of hacker intrusions in August and September of this year.
Of those accounts, some 16,000 of them were not protected by encryption, South Carolina officials said. The breach potentially affects anyone who filed income taxes in South Carolina at any time from 1998 on.
South Carolina’s governor, Nikki Haley, has announced that the state will provide up to one year of credit monitoring service, for free, to anyone who might have been affected by the breach and who applies for it.
DOD personnel and their family members who are current or former South Carolina taxpayers, especially those who are living abroad, are urged to visit http://www.ProtectMyId.com/SCDOR or contact Experian’s national consumer assistance center at 1-866-578-5422 by January 31, 2013, to enroll in identity theft protection.
The announcement comes at almost the same time that Nationwide Insurance reported some 1.1 million customer records have been stolen by computer hackers in recent months, as well. Nationwide reported that the records included the names, Social Security Numbers, dates of birth, drivers’ license numbers and credit card numbers of people who sought auto insurance quotes online. The network that was compromised also affects users of Alliance Insurance, company officials said.
Nationwide is also offering a year of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection insurance to those who apply.