S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s Department of Revenue (SCDOR) blew off a legislative hearing into last year’s massive security breach at the agency – a conspicuous absence which infuriated state lawmakers.
Testifying at this week’s hearing was former SCDOR official Mike Garon – who was fired from the agency last year just prior to news of the breach becoming public (a story broken exclusively by FITS). According to Garon, SCDOR was in a “high-risk situation” prior to the breach.
Really? Thank you, Captain Obvious. We hadn’t gathered that …
To recap, beginning last August SCDOR coughed up 3.8 million Social Security numbers, 3.3 million bank account numbers, tax info for more than 650,000 businesses and nearly 400,000 credit and debit card numbers to as-yet-unidentified hackers. Haley’s agency never even knew it had been hit – in fact it wasn’t until mid-October that federal law enforcement officials informed the state its system had been compromised.
At that point, Haley waited another sixteen days before going public with the news (presumably while her administration attempted to negotiate with the cyber-terrorists).
How has she managed the crisis since then? Not well …
Haley initially claimed that “there wasn’t anything where anyone in state government could have done anything” to stop the breach – and that the Palmetto State used “industry standard” data security methods. Both of those claims turned out to be completely false.
Haley’s administration has received a $20 million bailout to pay for all the costs associated with the breach – including a controversial credit monitoring deal and crisis communications advice from a liberal Capital City public relations firm.
God only knows how much additional money the breach has cost taxpayers – and that’s before we get to the real cost of the debacle.
Given the extent of the damage here, the very least Haley’s administration could have done was bother to show up for this hearing.
After all, earlier this week she dispatched her press secretary to stand over the shoulder of a reporter who was interviewing one of her political rivals.
Take a look …
(Click to enlarge)
Is the biggest state-level data breach in the history of our country not deserving of the same level of attention?