Ex-Revenue Dept. CIO claims some responsibility on hack - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Ex-Revenue Dept. CIO on hack: "Am I responsible for some element of this? Yes."

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Former DOR chief information officer Mike Garon testified before the House committee on Thursday. Former DOR chief information officer Mike Garon testified before the House committee on Thursday.

Former state Revenue Department chief information officer Mike Garon appeared before a House committee on Thursday to talk about his role during the hack that exposed the private information of millions of South Carolinians.

Garon offered his opinions on DOR's security situation before the hack, saying the department was in a "high-risk situation" prior to the breach's discovery.

That being said, Garon claimed at least some of the responsibility on DOR's failure to protect the crucial data.

"Am I responsible for some element of this? Yes," said Garon to the committee.

According to state officials, an international hacker gained access in August 2012 to DOR databases that held Social Security numbers, tax information, and bank account numbers of over 3 million state residents.

The breach was not discovered until a few months later in October.

Garon resigned from the Revenue Department just weeks before the hack's discovery. However, he told the committee his resignation was not by his choice and had nothing to do with the hack.

Instead, Garon explained that he resigned because he was "abusive" to staff and failed to communicate effectively to them.

House lawmakers sought further answers from Garon about what he knew about the hack and when he knew it.

Rep. Harry Ott advanced a theory that Garon could have been scapegoated to cover month-long delay in plugging breach.

Lawmakers also ripped the Revenue Department for not sending a representative to the meeting. Rep. James Merrill called it "absolutely unacceptable."

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