Hacked Tax Returns

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) _ The new chief at South Carolina’s Department of Revenue says he’s changing the agency’s culture following the theft of millions of taxpayers’ personal data. Interim director Bill Blume on Tuesday told a Senate panel investigating the hacking his top goal is restoring taxpayers’ confidence. He also says the agency will spend $1.5 million more than estimated on the response, or $21.7 million. Blume took the agency’s helm two weeks ago. He says changes so far include re-organizing the chain of command so the chief information security officer reports directly to him. Former IT security officer Scott Shealy testified earlier that recommendations he made that could have prevented the theft were dismissed as unnecessary and never reached senior management. Blume says security is now considered a nonnegotiable cost of doing business.

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