South Carolina officials have added more operators to a hotline for residents to call if they believe they may have been affected during a hacking of the state’s Department of Revenue. About 3-and-half-million Social Security numbers and almost 400,000 credit or debit card numbers were exposed during the security breach, which was first announced Friday. During a press conference Monday, Governor Nikki Haley stressed there’s still plenty of time to sign up for free credit protection service the state is offering in the wake of the hack.
“You don’t have to call today, you don’t have to call tomorrow,” Haley said. “You have until the end of January of 2013 to call, and it will be retroactive. They will make sure that they go back and take care of you.”
As of this morning, about 450,000 people had called the hotline. You’re encouraged to enroll in the protection service if you’ve filed a South Carolina tax return since 1998. The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division has defended the more than two-week delay in announcing the cyber attack, saying it was in the best interest of its investigation.