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Charlotte Area News

Scope Of SC Cyber-Attack Widens

The cyber-attack that experts already believe is the largest on a state tax agency - ever - just got bigger. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley said Wednesday the tax returns of more than 650,000 businesses may also have been exposed – on top of the 3.6 million individual returns previously announced.

“I am probably more frustrated than you know to have to do these daily press conferences, but what I will tell you is as we go through this process, every time we find out something new we are gonna continue to tell you,” said a grim-faced Haley.

The cyber-attack was first announced last Friday and since then Haley says more than 400,000 people have enrolled in free credit monitoring services available to anyone who filed a South Carolina tax return since 1998. The cost to the state of offering that service could top out at $12 million. 

Now Haley says South Carolina businesses can enroll in similar protection starting Friday with monitoring firm Dun and Bradstreet.

State law enforcement agencies are working with the Secret Service and a private security firm to identify the extent of the breach and catch the hacker.

Also on Wednesday, a former South Carolina senator filed a lawsuit against the state's tax collection agency and Governor Nikki Haley, accusing them of failing to protect taxpayers from a massive security breach.