UPDATED 1:12 P.M. Thursday - to include information about capped payouts from state agencies.*
In the fourth press conference since it was announced that the South Carolina Department of Revenue's (DOR) records had been breached, Gov. Nikki Haley announced a partnership between the state and Dun & Bradstreet, a business credit reporting agency.
Haley also dismissed the merits of a class action lawsuit by Spartanburg attorney John Hawkins, filed as a result of the breach (see attached document).
She called the suit "nothing more than a lawyer with a handout."
Hawkins ran for State Senate in District 10 earlier this year, but lost to incumbent Lee Bright, who was endorsed by Haley.
Even if the lawsuit were successful, the Associated Press reports that payouts from a suit against a state agency are capped at $600,000.*
As far as the breach itself, information continues to become available on a daily basis and Haley said she plans to continue providing updates to the public as she sees fit.
During testimony yesterday before the Senate Finance Committee, DOR Director Jim Etter said that some businesses may have had their information compromised by the same computer hacker who is believed to have accessed 3.6 million personal records.
Shortly after the hacking was announced last Friday, Haley said that individuals will receive free credit protection for a year from Experion. On Wednesday, she announced that Dun & Bradstreet will provide the same service to businesses. Experion may end up billing the state $12 million, while Dun & Bradstreet is not charging the state. It's not known how many businesses were affected by the breach, but Haley said the number could be as high as 657,000.
Starting on Friday at 8 a.m., businesses can sign up at DandB.com/sc or by calling 800-279-9881.
Haley said that so far more than 600,000 individuals have visited the Experion site and more than 418,000 have signed up for the credit monitoring service.
The governor also said she will meet with her Cabinet on Thursday to find more ways to reach the public regarding the breach. One of the primary criticisms by senators at the Finance Committee hearing was that the DOR had not been more aggressive in notifying and working with potential victims.
During the Finance Committee hearing, Sen. Phil Leventis (D - Sumter) wondered if anyone would lose their job over the breach. Haley told reporters on Wednesday that no one would be fired because of the crisis, saying that nothing could have been done to prevent it.
Individuals seeking credit protection should contact: 866-578-5422 or protectmyid.com/scdor and enter the passcode scdor123.