U.S. Government Failed to Secure Obamacare Website, Say Experts

Experts claim that Obamacare official web portal wasn’t properly secured by U.S. government.

Last year Obamacare website demonstrating numerous glitches, preventing Americans from signing up for the healthcare coverage. Photo: Abayomi Azikiwe/Flickr

A group of cyber security experts claims that the American government failed to fix properl the HealthCare.gov website from hacker attacks, three months after specialists had warned of the existing problem.

David Kennedy, head of computer security consulting firm TrustedSec LLC, explained to the reporters that the U.S. government still need to plug more than 20 vulnerabilities that followed the webportal crash last fall.

According to experts, personal information of all the registered for the coverage Americans can be stolen, as well as hackers can modify data or attack the personal computers of the website’s users.

Which is more, the infrastructure of the site can be also damaged, as the cyber security professional explains, who is scheduled to describe his security concerns in testimony on Thursday before the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.

“These issues are alarming,” Kennedy told reporters in an interview on Wednesday.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the federal agency that oversees the site’s operations, provided Reuters with a statement saying it takes the concerns seriously, writes Reuters.

“To date there have been no successful security attacks on HealthCare.gov and no person or group has maliciously accessed personally identifiable information from the site,” the statement said.

“Security testing is conducted on an ongoing basis using industry best practices to appropriately safeguard consumers’ personal information.”

Last month the president’s administration announced that it was absolutely confident that all the malfunctions that hit Obamacare website are in the past now.

According to the White House officials, “nearly two million” people visited the resouce on Dec. 23, with a peak moment of concurrent usage by 83,000 people at approximately noon.

Both numbers have eclipsed administration officials’ predictions after the site’s much-heralded tech upgrade concluded Dec. 1. Then officials claimed that the Obamacare site was capable of handling 50,000 visitors at once and 800,000 over the course of a day.

“As of 2:00 p.m. today, we’ve seen approximately 850,000 visits to HealthCare.gov – approximately five times higher than the same amount by that time last Monday,” said Julie Bataille, a spokesperson for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which runs the site.

“This is on top of the more than 1.2 million site visits this weekend,”  the spokeswoman added.

The website’s queuing system was expected to collapse on Dec. 23 because of the overwhelming lines of Americans who wanted to get enrolled to the medical insurance coverage. But the queuing system worked well.

Back in last year, President Barack Obama said that there’s “no excuse” for the technical problems that have plagued the rollout of the Obamacare health insurance website, and promised all Americans would have access to health coverage under his law.

In a speech, Obama said: “Nobody’s madder than me about the fact that the website isn’t working as well as it should, which means it’s going to get fixed.”

Online insurance exchanges opened on October 1 under the law, often called “Obamacare,” to offer health insurance plans to millions of uninsured Americans. But many people have failed to make it through the system despite repeated tries.

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