Do we actually believe the government, when they say no information was taken? I think not. On Thursday, the Obama Administraton admitted that hackers successfully breached HealthCare.gov, but no consumer information was taken from the health insurance website that serves more than 5 million Americans.
Officials say the hackers installed malicious software that could have been used to launch an attack on other websites from the federal insurance portal.
HHS spokesman Aaron Albright said the website component that was breached had been used for testing and did not contain consumer information, such as names, birth dates, Social Security numbers and income details. The initial intrusion took place July 8, but it was not detected until Monday of last week during a manual scan of system logs. HHS said the component that was breached did not have a firewall, or intrusion detection software, installed on it. Technicians manually scanning logs discovered the breach Aug. 25 and took action.
The DHS which helps safeguard federal systems, said the scope of the attack was limited to one server. There is no evidence an attack was subsequently launched from the tainted machine.
“Sadly, the news that HealthCare.gov has been hacked does not come as a surprise,” Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Pa., said in a statement. Pitts chairs a panel that held hearings last year on the website problems. Like other congressional Republicans, he opposes President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.
HHS says it does not appear that the insurance site was specifically targeted. Rather, the hackers seem to have been probing numerous government and private websites for potential weaknesses.
The department’s inspector general is coordinating with other law enforcement agencies to investigate. HealthCare.gov is the online gateway to subsidized private health insurance for people who don’t have access to a health plan on the job.
Created under Obama’s health law, the site currently serves 36 states and more may be added when open enrollment starts Nov. 15. The remaining states run their own insurance exchanges.