Your Private Information Could Be At Risk

Columbia, SC (WLTX) – News 19 has an update on several Midlands city and county websites that we told you were vulnerable to hackers. Now some counties are taking action.

We tested the websites you use to pay your water bill and taxes online and many city and county sites failed, meaning they had outdated security protocols.

After our story aired now some have made upgrades.

Richland County, Sumter County, Camden, Manning and the Orangeburg Department of Public Utilities all received an "F" after we tested the sites with the Qualys SSL Lab.

After our story a spokesperson for the Orangeburg Department of Public Utilities says our story "helped them identify an issue that they were unaware of," now the site has a "B."

The grades were based on how up to date the security protocols were for the site.

Richland County's grade has also changed since our story.

In April the site received an "F" for not supporting security protocols TLS 1.2 and 1.1.

The county now has an "A" but Janet Claggett, Chief Information Officer with the county says they didn't make any upgrades, despite our test showing that two security protocols were upgraded.

"We can't explain it because we did not make any changes to our digital certificates or our protocols that would cause that difference so we are also perplexed," said Claggett.

Claggett says cyber security is a priority with the county and residents should not be afraid to pay their bills online.

"I and our team are confident, I am reluctant to say that any site is 100% secure because you can look at too many examples from the public and private sector but all I can say is Richland county takes security very seriously and it's a daily chore, not so much a chore, but a daily endeavor to keep the county secure."

Security experts tell us that the communication between the customer and the site can be compromised with outdated protocols.

Claggett wants residents to know that no credit card payments are made on the site, instead you are taken to a third party site run by the state... only your user name and password is entered into the county site.

"We have databases that are not connected to the internet that are encrypted at rest. Any data transmitted through payments is encrypted in transit."

Camden, Manning and Sumter County still have failing grades and we will to continue to ask them what they are doing to protect you.

Below is a list of the grades for each Midlands City and county website:

Richland County- A

Orangeburg Department of Public Utilities- B

Camden- F

Manning- F

Sumter County- F

Kershaw County- F

Cayce- A-

West Columbia- F

Lexington- B

City of Sumter- A-


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