Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Sen. Kevin Bryant (R-Anderson) and Sen. Billy O'Dell (R-Abbeville) have been assigned to investigate the SCDOR's data breach by Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Hugh Leatherman.
On Monday, Sen. Kevin Bryant told News19 he would co-chair a new committee to investigate how the Department of Revenue was hacked after the Senate Finance Committee had an emergency meeting.
"There is really two objectives. One, what happened and is there anybody to blame and two, what do we do moving forward," said Bryant.
Sen. Bryant says he was told by Sen. Hugh Leatherman to "dig as deep as you need to." He says they will have their first meeting after thanksgiving where they will get educated on technology terminology.
"We need to determine, why this agency in this state? My hunch is that it was low hanging fruit."
Senator Bryant writes on his blog:
"My first and foremost concern is all taxpayers, individuals and businesses, seek and receive all of the protection and assistance currently offered through Experian, their bank and their credit card company. I encourage all of you, if you have not already done so, to communicate with each of these and to ensure that you are fully aware the best course for protecting yourself and your family.
My second concern is that the facts surrounding this incident seem to change too frequently. We first were told that this was an international criminal and had nothing to do with internal activities or policy, but then we learned that the data was accessed with SCDOR employee credentials. Those two are not necessarily incompatible, but does open more questions. We were told that SCDOR could have done absolutely nothing differently to protect us. We then found out, though, that not only was our data not encrypted but also that SCDOR refused a free data monitoring service offered by the state's IT department. When I asked the SCDOR director how much encryption would have cost, he replied "not very much". I am very displeased that we continually are discovering that not only could more have been done but also that it would have been at minimal, if any, cost. Failure to do everything possible to protect taxpayer data simply is inexcusable.
My third concern is what we are doing to address this issue going forward. The state does maintain databases in other agencies that have sensitive information. I look forward to hearing from other agencies as to what they are doing to maximize the protection of our sensitive information. I will update you as that effort moves forward."