Foreign Hackers Attacking SC DMV Database Daily (South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles)
By: Robert Kittle | News Channel 7
Published: February 02, 2012
Columbia, SC —
Foreign hackers, mostly from China, are attacking the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles’ computers every day, trying to get the personal information of millions of South Carolina drivers.
“We’ve had about 90 intrusion attempts since the beginning of this year,” says J.R. Sanderson, director of operations at the DMV. “We have deflected all of those attempts.”
“Having said that, though, I think it’s very important from a business perspective to look at us and say, ‘Are we doing everything we can?’ We will tell you that we are doing absolutely everything we can to protect the network, but the number of intrusion attempts continues to go up higher and higher,” he says.
The DMV contacted the FBI, since most of the hackers are attacking from foreign countries. The FBI’s local cyber-security squad is assisting the DMV to make sure everything possible is being done to protect the DMV database, which contains not only drivers’ names and addresses but also Social Security numbers and copies of birth certificates.
DMV director Kevin Shwedo told state senators Wednesday that he’ll have to find the money to upgrade the DMV’s computer security system. The agency doesn’t get any money from the state budget; it runs on money it collects from driver’s license and license plate fees.
What’s not clear yet is whether he’ll be able to pay for the security upgrades with existing funds or whether license fees will have to go up.
“The technology for doing this is obviously available,” Sanderson says. “Business uses it every day and it is expensive. I would not garner to say how much we would attempt to spend on that.”