COLUMBIA — Authorities late Saturday were investigating what they said was the defacement of a South Carolina state agency Web site, but they stressed that no personal information was breached.
Columbia’s WLTX-TV reported that an image appeared on the Department of Employment and Workforce Web site Saturday evening claiming, “This site was hacked.”
Agency spokeswoman Adrienne Fairwell said officials believe it was a “Web site defacement.” She said the image was taken down after a little more than an hour.
She said “no confidential or sensitive or personal identifying information was lost or stolen.”
“Web site defacement is an attack on a Web site that changes the visual appearance of the site or a Web page,” the agency said in a news release late Saturday. “This can be compared to graffiti on a wall.”
Fairwell said the defacement also occurred at about 12 other Web sites nationwide.
Information technology specialists were working on the issue late Saturday, she said.
“We take this and any attempts to obtain personal identifying information and sensitive data very seriously,” said the department’s executive director, Abraham J. Turner.
“Due to multiple levels of security the agency has in place, a more serious event was averted. We will continue to monitor, identify and eliminate vulnerabilities,” Turner said.
According to the agency, “a malicious user” defaced the site at about 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
“There was no personal identifying information compromised,” the news release said. “The dew.sc.gov Web site contains public information about the agency and the federal programs that it administers. Simply put, the user replaced one DEW Web site, the main page, with a message.”
In mid-September, a computer hacker stole the tax filings of 3.8 million adults and 700,000 businesses as part of a massive security breach at the state Revenue Department.
The state is paying Experian $12 million for one year of credit monitoring and dedicated call center operators. Nearly 1 million people have signed up so far.
Notices to affected taxpayers began going out earlier this month. All 3.8 million should be notified by year’s end, and Gov. Nikki Haley said the notices will cost $1.3 million.
Haley announced Friday that the deadline for signing up for Experian’s ProtectMyID service has been extended to March 31.