SC tax agency to receive loan for hacking response

Published: Dec. 12, 2012 at 3:17 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 22, 2012 at 3:20 PM EST
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Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP/WIS) - South Carolina's tax collection agency will receive a $20 million loan to pay for the state's response to the hacking of millions of taxpayers' personal data.

The Budget and Control Board approved Wednesday letting the Revenue Department borrow from insurance reserves. It also approved hiring a consultant to help the state hire an expert on reorganizing computer security.

"My job is to do rapid response," said Gov. Nikki Haley. "We did that to get everyone protected.  My next job is to make sure there's a cyber plan in place and not wait on the General Assembly to hash this out and to make sure things keep moving.

The loan covers decisions made by Gov. Haley and Revenue Director Jim Etter following the breach.

The state owes $12 million to Experian for credit monitoring and will spend $1.3 million to notify taxpayers. Other bills are coming from a public relations firm, legal firm and computer forensic experts.

The agency also expects to spend $5.6 million to encrypt stored data.

"The RFP allows us to bring in a consultant to say 'These are the best things we could do for good government to make sure we are protecting the taxpayers,'" said Haley.  "I don't want to slow that down.  I want to make sure we're doing everything we can."

The filings of 6.4 million residents and businesses were stolen.

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