SC tax returns exposed by computer hacker

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- State officials say someone hacked into the Department of Revenue, exposing about 3.6 million South Carolina tax returns.

Gov. Nikki Haley said Friday about 387,000 credit and debit card numbers were also exposed, and 16,000 of those were unencrypted. State officials are urging anyone who has filed a state tax return since 1998 to call a toll-free number to determine whether their information is affected.

State Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel said the Secret Service notified officials earlier this month, and the investigation is ongoing. Officials say the problem has been fixed.

Haley said the attack came from an international computer address.

She said the state will pay for a year of identity protection service for any affected taxpayer. Officials did not yet know what that would cost.