A hacker gained access to the Social Security and credit information for 77 percent of the state population of South Carolina, prompting an incensed response from Governor Nikki Haley Friday.
“I want this person slammed against the wall,” Haley said at a press conference, WIS-TV reported. “I want that man just brutalized.”
Haley said that the unidentified culprit, based outside of the U.S., gained access to 3.6 million Social Security numbers as well as 387,000 credit and debit card numbers last month in one of several attempts to hack the state department of revenue’s website beginning in late August. Authorities discovered the breaches earlier this month.
Department officials said only about 16,000 of the credit card numbers were truly vulnerable, as they lacked the industry-standard encryption to resist such attacks. But The Charleston Post & Courier reported that the Social Security information was completely unencrypted.
Haley said she knew where the hacker was based but did not reveal that information, saying she did not want to affect the investigation into the matter. But her response to the matter has been criticized by state Democrats.
“You don’t leave victims exposed to further criminalization so you can catch the perpetrator,” state Rep. Leon Stavrinakis told the newspaper.
WIS’ report on the cyber-attack, aired Friday, can be seen below.