Latest on SC DEW Website Defacement

1:29 PM, Dec 26, 2012   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce spokesperson Adrienne Fairwell was contacted by News 19's Nate Stewart Wednesday morning for the latest regarding the defacing of the website DEW.SC.GOV.

At 6:30 pm on December 22, 2012, a malicious user defaced the agency's website, DEW.SC.GOV.

The agency's division of information technology immediately took the website offline to remove the defacement, and for the department's Information Technology specialists to make sure certain security measures were in place.

There was no personal identifying information compromised. The DEW.SC.GOV website contains public information about the agency and the federal programs that it administers. Simply put, the user replaced one DEW website, the main page, with a message. This is commonly referred to as "website defacement."

The Governor's Office released a response on the incident Wednesday. Haley's spokesperson Rob Godfrey said via email:

"We have received regular updates on the agency's website, which is up and running, in the days since it was defaced. Our office takes any cyber security threat in state government - no matter how small - seriously and that's why we're going to work with the General Assembly to find long term protection for our taxpayers and long term solutions for cyber security in state government."

Website defacement is an attack on a website that changes the visual appearance of the site or a webpage. This can be compared to graffiti on a wall.

DEW's IT specialists had the site back online and fully operational shortly after the defacement.

"DEW has multiple layers of security infrastructure in place and this layered approach allows for overlapping lines of defense working together to protect agency assets," said Neil Adcox, interim assistant executive director for Information Technology.

Personal Identifying Information and other sensitive information are protected by these multiple layers of security infrastructure and none of this information was accessed, released or lost.

"We take this and any attempts to obtain personal identifying information and sensitive data very seriously," said DEW 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."


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