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Nikki Haley: Nothing Could Have Stopped SC Database Hackers




S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley deflected criticism of her administration’s handling of a massive security breach – telling state lawmakers during a conference call on Monday morning that there was nothing her administration could have done to prevent the costly cyber attack.

“There wasn’t anything where anyone in state government could have done anything to avoid it,” Haley said of the unprecedented breach, which resulting in an anonymous hacker (or more likely, hackers) obtaining 3.6 million Social Security numbers and nearly 400,000 credit card numbers from the S.C. Department of Revenue.

Of course Haley then proceeded to tell nervous and angry lawmakers that prior “holes” in the system had been closed.

“All the information that was compromised as I told you Friday is plugged, is secure and is, um, safe and … so there are no more holes and anything that can be penetrated,” Haley said.

Take a listen …

(Click to play)

Hold up …

This doesn’t make sense:  How could this hack have been unavoidable if Haley is acknowledging that there were holes in the system that have since been closed?

Hmmmm …

And more importantly … why were there holes in the system to begin with given the millions of dollars our state has spent on cyber security measures and training in recent years?

As reported exclusively on FITS earlier this week, Eastern European hackers with alleged ties to the Russian government are rumored to be behind the massive data heist – which has Team Haley scrambling to explain why it took so long for her administration to identify the problem and alert the public.

The hack began on August 27 but was not detected until October 10.  The public was not notified until October 26 – a delay that was ostensibly in response to an international law enforcement operation aimed at identifying and apprehending the guilty parties.

Lawmakers immediately blasted Haley’s account of the breach.

“If it was not preventable how are all the holes closed as she claimed?” S.C. Rep. Leon Stavrinakis asked.

Good question.

The latest breach comes less than six months after another major security breach in Haley’s administration – the release of nearly a quarter of a million Medicare records from the governor’s Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS).

In addition to the contradictions regarding South Carolina’s cyber readiness, Haley’s administration is still refusing to comment on the status of the investigation into the perpetrators of the attack.

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