As if the fumbled rollout of healthcare.gov wasn't enough, it turns out that the site is also extremely susceptible to security breaches. At a recent congressional hearing over the health care law's rollout, we found out that it could take a year to properly secure users' personal information from potential theft.
David Kennedy, head of computer-security consulting company TrustedSec LLC, testified to Congress, saying, "There are actual, live vulnerabilities on the site now," and that "when you develop a website, you develop it with security in mind. And it doesn't appear to have happened this time." In fact, the concern is so prevalent that when Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) asked Kennedy and two other cyber security experts if the site should be shut down until these issues were fixed, each replied "yes."
These testimonies were provided just before the Department of Health and Human Services released a progress report highlighting the fixing of over 400 bugs and software improvements. However, the report never addressed any of the website's security flaws.
Kennedy, who spoke with the Washington Free Beacon after the report was released, was still frustrated with their lack of focus on cyber security.
"There are a number of security concerns already with the website, and that's without even actually hacking the site, that's just a purely passive analysis of [it]," he said. "We found a number of critical exposures that were around sensitive information, the ability to hack into the site, things like that. We reported those issues and none of those appear to have been addressed at all."
But these privacy issues are not limited to the website. Mark Lanterman, CEO and chief technology officer of Computer Forensic Services, ran a simulated attack on several state exchanges and found that they're open to Wi-Fi breaches that can allow hackers to access usernames and passwords. State-run exchanges in Minnesota, Hawaii, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, New York, Maryland, and the District of Columbia were all susceptible to these sorts of attacks.
It is no wonder President Obama is way behind his goal of getting people enrolled in the new health care system. With the botched rollout of a website that doesn't work, paired with premium increases across the board, people losing their current plans, and more and more privacy concerns coming to light, few people have interest or confidence in Obamacare.
Just as the free market yields improvements to our country's health care and not a government-centered approach, you can only sell a bad product for so long until people reject it and you're out of business. That applies to our elected leaders, too, and 2014 may be when many in Congress file for political bankruptcy.