Healthcare.gov, the web portal for the Affordable Care Act, has been subject to close to 20 hacking attempts, including one intended to shut the site down, reports ABC.com.
According to the Department of Homeland security, these attempts are minimal when compared to the onslaught that most federal agencies receive, and none have been successful. The 16 reported attempts are currently under investigation, said Assistant Secretary Roberta Stempfley to members of the House Homeland Security Committee.
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While the number of hacking attempts for such a “high profile target” may seem low, Robert Siciliano, a McAfee online security expert, told ABCNews.com that it’s likely the agency is reporting only “brute force attacks.”
“Little tiny ones that happen on a daily basis, like attempting to crack passwords, they may see them but they add up to nothing. They’re probably reporting significant brute force attacks that could put data at risk,” Siciliano said.
In comparison, the Department of Homeland Security website logged about “228,700 cyber incidents” during the last fiscal year, a DHS official told ABCNews.com, which averages out to about 626 a day “involving federal agencies, critical infrastructure, and the Department’s industry partners.”
“The fact there was only 16 is surprising. Maybe those 16 are the documented ones,” he said of healthcare.gov. “Due to the fact there are consumers punching in personal identifying info, that makes it a very attractive target.”
As previously reported by NewsOne, Healthcare.gov has fallen victim to its own ambition and during a time that should be celebratory, President Barack Obama has been forced into playing defense and apologizing for what many perceive as his dishonesty.
In an interview with NBC News last Thursday, President Barack Obama apologized to those Americans who have received cancellation notices for their insurance policies.
“I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me,” the president said in the interview.
President Obama is trying to clamp down on the negative media spin that he “lied” to Americans by saying consistently over the last two years, “If you are satisfied with your plan, then you get to keep it.”
Medicare chief Marilyn Tavenner said it’s not the administration but insurers who are responsible for cancellation letters now reaching many of the estimated 14 million people who buy individual policies. And, officials said, people who get cancellation notices will be able to find better replacement plans, in some cases for less.
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