Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Governor Nikki Haley said Tuesday that the maximum the state will have to pay for credit protection after a major hacking of state records is $12 million.
Haley gave an update Tuesday on the hacking that exposed 3.6 million South Carolina Social Security numbers.
Last week, Haley and law enforcement leaders revealed that a Department of Revenue server had been breached by a foreign hacker. In addition to the Social Security numbers, it's estimated the thief took 387,000 credit card numbers.
Previous Coverage: 3.6 Million SC Social Security Number Stolen | Haley Promises Changes | How to Get Help | State Had Warnings
"This is not something that happens on a day-to-day basis," Haley said. "This is something bizarre in nature."
Department of Revenue Director James Etter said of the credit card numbers taken, all of the ones that were unencrypted were also expired.
Haley said so far, 287,000 people have signed up for the credit protection services that the state is offering through Experian at no cost. People have until the end of January of 2013 to take advantage of the service.
People can sign up by calling 1-866-578-5422 or by going to www.protectmyid.com/scdor and using the activation code "scdor123." The call center is open 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM EST on Monday through Friday and 11:00 AM - 8:00 PM EST on Saturday and Sunday.
The governor said experts have told her thieves usually try to use hacked data such as this about six to eight months after they take it.
As for the cost, Haley said after some negotiation, Experian agreed to cap their fee to the state at the $12 million figure, a number that's far lower than the retail rate.
Haley said when people register for the service, they get protection from all three credit agencies, and the protection goes backward in time to a person's entire credit history. People who choose the service will also have protection for minors living in their household under a family plan that will be offered by Experian.
Be sure to watch News 19 WLTX from 5:00PM through 7:30PM as we host a phone bank with the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs, answering any additional questions you might have.