SC

#SCHacked: The Ransom

Seven months after we exclusively reported on the bizarre ransom-related aftermath of #SCHacked – last fall’s unprecedented state-level hacking incident at the S.C. Department of Revenue – a South Carolina Senator is finally asking questions about the alleged payoff. For those of you who missed our post from last October,…

Seven months after we exclusively reported on the bizarre ransom-related aftermath of #SCHacked – last fall’s unprecedented state-level hacking incident at the S.C. Department of Revenue – a South Carolina Senator is finally asking questions about the alleged payoff.

For those of you who missed our post from last October, it broke down like this: While S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley was giving her fateful press conference belatedly responding to the scandal – telling the public “nothing could have been done” to stop the hackers – her administration was secretly said to be cooperating with national and international authorities as part of a “sting” effort to reclaim the data stolen.

What all did the hackers make off with? Over a period of several weeks in August and September of last year, they robbed SCDOR of 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.

Anyway, here’s the relevant passage from our report … 

While Haley was putting on her show, officials in her administration were telling legislative leaders and other state officials that a global effort led by Interpol and the U.S. Department of Justice was “trying to buy the list back.”

“We made the last payment,” one Haley advisor told a top lawmaker less than 24 hours before the governor held her infamous press conference.

The Haley aide told the lawmaker that the blackmail payments were part of a “global law enforcement sting” and that “no South Carolina tax dollars” were being used for the purpose of repurchasing the list.  The legislative leader declined to identify the name of the Haley staffer he spoke with – even after being granted anonymity to speak freely.

No one involved in the heist has even been identified, let alone held accountable.

“Is it true that a ransom was paid on behalf of the State of South Carolina to a person or persons who were involved in or were responsible for the theft of the personal identity information of millions of South Carolinians and South Carolina businesses from the South Carolina Department of Revenue in the fall of 2012?” S.C. Sen. Brad Hutto (D-Orangeburg) asked Haley in a letter this week.

Hutto – who copied S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson and State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) chief Mark Keel on his letter – called on Haley to “reveal any and all knowledge you have regarding the payment of a ransom related to the computer hacking.”

Haley’s office did not respond to Hutto’s letter – referring all questions related to the hacking to the U.S. Secret Service and SLED.

#SCHacked is one of the major body blows suffered by Haley during her first term – a scandal she compounded by misleading the public.

In addition to her “nothing could have been done” claim, Haley also suggested that the Palmetto State used “industry standard” data security methods to protect taxpayers confidential information. 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.

Of course that’s before we get to the real cost of the debacle …

***

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33 comments

Doris June 5, 2013 at 8:56 pm

Hutto is such a sleazebag. He is first and foremost a Queen Jean whore. He owes her his law license and in exchange votes, any which-a-way she tells him to do. There is nothing he won’t do to tow, perpetuate and advance the Liberal Democratic Party line.

Reply
Simple Simon June 5, 2013 at 10:00 pm

Who gives a damn if Hutto is a sleazebag?Answer the question Nikki!

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CorruptionInColumbia June 6, 2013 at 8:00 am

I agree but it looks as if she already did answer the question. Her silence is deafening!

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Marie Harrison June 6, 2013 at 10:31 am

Girlfriend, I told you that orange is not your color.

Reply
Doris June 5, 2013 at 8:56 pm

Hutto is such a sleazebag. He is first and foremost a Queen Jean whore. He owes her his law license and in exchange votes, any which-a-way she tells him to do. There is nothing he won’t do to tow, perpetuate and advance the Liberal Democratic Party line.

Reply
Simple Simon June 5, 2013 at 10:00 pm

Who gives a damn if Hutto is a sleazebag?Answer the question Nikki!

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CorruptionInColumbia June 6, 2013 at 8:00 am

I agree but it looks as if she already did answer the question. Her silence is deafening!

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Marie Harrison June 6, 2013 at 10:31 am

Girlfriend, I told you that orange is not your color.

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GrandTango June 5, 2013 at 9:12 pm

LMAO: Wonder why it took so long for FITS?…. This is hours old…The democrats and FITS are usually Locked in a mean 69…How did The State newspaper beat you so badly on your Obsession….Hahahahaha…

PS: Wodner if Obama’s IRS gave Hutto the inside…Hahahahaha…

Reply
Will Folks aka Sic June 5, 2013 at 10:55 pm

I was on the road all day bra … and unlike La Socialista I don’t have three reporters assigned to the State House. Do the best I can, bra …

Reply
Finius Nullis June 6, 2013 at 8:12 am

Will, GrandTango might volunteer some reporting time for you — if you ask him nicely. We commentators would appreciate his timely, concise and accurate reporting. You could set up a separate front page section: ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A GOOBER?

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Frank Pytel June 6, 2013 at 8:58 am

Hey!! That’s my column!!

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Finius Nullis June 6, 2013 at 9:14 am

OK – then how about this one: BEING FRANK WITH FRANK. Or this one: FRANK’S FURTER NEWS.

GrandTango June 6, 2013 at 11:30 am

I prefer to be called: Man-Zere…

Reply
GreenvilleLwyr June 6, 2013 at 9:01 am

I think one day you should submit a post that is nothing more than a series of colons and ellipses. You would make more sense if you just left the words out.

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Dan Watson June 5, 2013 at 10:06 pm

The real crime was perpetrated by the State of South Carolina upon her citizens. The mere irrefutable fact that the databases in question were not encrypted is the proof. Not only that but the governor attempted to fool the people by telling them that nothing more could have been done. These are lies and failures to fulfill the offices and positions which these people were entrusted. That little bit of credit monitoring offered for a year was as weak as water. The hackers copied that exfiltrated data and upon the one year mark will make a second pass at the individuals via account clean outs, and identity fraud. The State of South Carolina will sit back and claim innocence. If you run a business in SC you better be getting prepared. You can email thesecurityeagle@hotmail.com. I will be happy to offer you services to prepare.
Dan Watson, CISSP

Reply
Dan Watson June 5, 2013 at 10:06 pm

The real crime was perpetrated by the State of South Carolina upon her citizens. The mere irrefutable fact that the databases in question were not encrypted is the proof. Not only that but the governor attempted to fool the people by telling them that nothing more could have been done. These are lies and failures to fulfill the offices and positions which these people were entrusted. That little bit of credit monitoring offered for a year was as weak as water. The hackers copied that exfiltrated data and upon the one year mark will make a second pass at the individuals via account clean outs, and identity fraud. The State of South Carolina will sit back and claim innocence. If you run a business in SC you better be getting prepared. You can email thesecurityeagle@hotmail.com. I will be happy to offer you services to prepare.
Dan Watson, CISSP

Reply
Carpe Jugulum June 5, 2013 at 10:49 pm

Wait a minute, let’s take a beat here. The Haley administration has done everything in their power to put as much time and distance as possible between themselves and this disaster. There is no question that simple incompetence is to blame for this happening in the first place. What makes it a disgusting disaster are the pathetic attempts that the Haley administration has made to redirect attention from it and minimalize responsibility for it. Think back to when this story broke. Haley and her crew acted like kids coming home with bad report cards. They were hemming and hawing and dancing around (stalling for time) like nobody’s business. Remember the nonsense that SLED Director Keel was babbling about “benchmarks?” I have never been able to find anybody who could explain what the hell he was talking about.

Ransom? This sounds like a plot to a bad movie from the 1940’s. You know, where the bad guy demands “all the photographs and the negatives” to cover his tracks. There was always a duplicate floating around somewhere. I pray to God that nobody who is allowed to drive a car or handle sharp objects thought that if we paid money we would get back the ton of data that was stolen with “no harm no foul.” In the digital age, this idea is laughable. Whoever they made this offer to must still be slapping his knee and trying to catch his breath. If they actually transferred money with this idea in mind, then somebody needs to first be fired, then provided with the best psychiatric treatment that Obamacare care provide. Haley can probably arrange a sweet deal with LMC. She’s done it before and she can do it again.

There are many reasons that Haley & Company would love for this mess to go away, but there is one that does not get any attention. If there was a ransom paid, that indicates that we have some idea of who did it. Why not just come out and announce who the culprits are. It would actually demonstrate some positive headway in the matter. Having not named a perpetrator indicates that they have no idea who conducted the biggest heist in our state’s history.

Finally, how do we know it was profit seeking “criminals” who hacked SCDOR? We don’t know. It could just as easily be an act of terrorism. For all we know, the data that was stolen could have been sold off to finance terrorist activities. Our stolen information could be bankrolling the ability of the Taliban or Al Qaeda to machine-gun the arms and legs off our own troops. No wonder Haley and company want you to think of this in the same way you would think of somebody swiping watermelons.

Then again, some people actually believe that a video caused Benghazi………..

Reply
Carpe Jugulum June 5, 2013 at 10:49 pm

Wait a minute, let’s take a beat here. The Haley administration has done everything in their power to put as much time and distance as possible between themselves and this disaster. There is no question that simple incompetence is to blame for this happening in the first place. What makes it a disgusting disaster are the pathetic attempts that the Haley administration has made to redirect attention from it and minimalize responsibility for it. Think back to when this story broke. Haley and her crew acted like kids coming home with bad report cards. They were hemming and hawing and dancing around (stalling for time) like nobody’s business. Remember the nonsense that SLED Director Keel was babbling about “benchmarks?” I have never been able to find anybody who could explain what the hell he was talking about.

Ransom? This sounds like a plot to a bad movie from the 1940’s. You know, where the bad guy demands “all the photographs and the negatives” to cover his tracks. There was always a duplicate floating around somewhere. I pray to God that nobody who is allowed to drive a car or handle sharp objects thought that if we paid money we would get back the ton of data that was stolen with “no harm no foul.” In the digital age, this idea is laughable. Whoever they made this offer to must still be slapping his knee and trying to catch his breath. If they actually transferred money with this idea in mind, then somebody needs to first be fired, then provided with the best psychiatric treatment that Obamacare care provide. Haley can probably arrange a sweet deal with LMC. She’s done it before and she can do it again.

There are many reasons that Haley & Company would love for this mess to go away, but there is one that does not get any attention. If there was a ransom paid, that indicates that we have some idea of who did it. Why not just come out and announce who the culprits are. It would actually demonstrate some positive headway in the matter. Having not named a perpetrator indicates that they have no idea who conducted the biggest heist in our state’s history.

Finally, how do we know it was profit seeking “criminals” who hacked SCDOR? We don’t know. It could just as easily be an act of terrorism. For all we know, the data that was stolen could have been sold off to finance terrorist activities. Our stolen information could be bankrolling the ability of the Taliban or Al Qaeda to machine-gun the arms and legs off our own troops. No wonder Haley and company want you to think of this in the same way you would think of somebody swiping watermelons.

Then again, some people actually believe that a video caused Benghazi………..

Reply
Synchro Nizer June 5, 2013 at 11:30 pm

Has anybody walked up to Hutto’s FACE and asked him how in the world it would be possible to pay a ransom for “data” and be assured that the person/s you are paying will guarantee you anything? It’s not like it’s a human being you are getting back for your money.

As CJ said, only a complete goober would fall for that ruse.

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Synchro Nizer June 5, 2013 at 11:30 pm

Has anybody walked up to Hutto’s FACE and asked him how in the world it would be possible to pay a ransom for “data” and be assured that the person/s you are paying will guarantee you anything? It’s not like it’s a human being you are getting back for your money.

As CJ said, only a complete goober would fall for that ruse.

Reply
jimlewisowb June 5, 2013 at 11:45 pm

“Seven months after…reported…..a South Carolina Senator is finally asking questions about the alleged payoff”

Only 7 months, 210+- days, for Hutto’s brain to make a connection

There are pickles in my refrigerator smarter than Hutto

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jimlewisowb June 5, 2013 at 11:45 pm

“Seven months after…reported…..a South Carolina Senator is finally asking questions about the alleged payoff”

Only 7 months, 210+- days, for Hutto’s brain to make a connection

There are pickles in my refrigerator smarter than Hutto

Reply
dm10ae June 6, 2013 at 3:39 am

Haley was blaming the federal government for not requiring SC tax data be encrypted. Duh, typical thinking, we’ll save $5 million by not encrypting the data and take a chance on not being hacked. Now the cost of the hacking will be $30 million with a yearly outlay of $6 million and 30+ new hires in SCDOR. Well done, I feel so much safer now with these extra hires and the money outlay. A centralized security system? Does that mean a college that has had a security in place for years give it up for this new untested crapola?

Reply
dm10ae June 6, 2013 at 3:39 am

Haley was blaming the federal government for not requiring SC tax data be encrypted. Duh, typical thinking, we’ll save $5 million by not encrypting the data and take a chance on not being hacked. Now the cost of the hacking will be $30 million with a yearly outlay of $6 million and 30+ new hires in SCDOR. Well done, I feel so much safer now with these extra hires and the money outlay. A centralized security system? Does that mean a college that has had a security in place for years give it up for this new untested crapola?

Reply
Marie Harrison June 6, 2013 at 10:08 am

Just like the missing money at the temple. Something is rotten here.

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Marie Harrison June 6, 2013 at 10:08 am

Just like the missing money at the temple. Something is rotten here.

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GrandTango June 6, 2013 at 11:35 am

The democrats, FITS and The State newspaper see this Security Breach by the Leftwing Bureau-crats over at DOR, as their BIG Chance.

But if no one is compromised before the 2014 Election…Obama-Sheheen’s slim chances go up in smoke….

That said: I’m guessing the dems have some stooges set up, during the campaign, to claim they’ve been hacked, and Haley is the cause of it…Look out for that…

Reply

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