Scam of the day – September 7, 2014 – HealthCare.gov hacked

The health care industry in general is responsible for more data breaches than any other sector.  The lack of security throughout the health care industry including hospitals and other providers of health care is a huge problem that is only going to get worse as the computers of health care providers continue to be targeted and the personal data that they contain becomes harvested by hacking identity thieves.  From its inception security issues at HealthCare.gov, the website of the federal government’s health insurance marketplace created pursuant to the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare have been a source of concern of mine and many other experts in cybersecurity.  Recently, it was disclosed that HealthCare.gov was indeed hacked although, according to government spokesmen no personal information of consumers in the 36 states that use HealthCare.gov was compromised.  However, this is of little consolation to the many people who use HealthCare.gov.

When HealthCare.gov was first launched last October, there were major security concerns about the website and the website was activated even before it met federal standards for security.  Everyone remembers the difficulties that were encountered in the initial use of HealthCare.gov, however, until now, the federal government had not reported any data breaches although Aaron Albright, a spokesman at the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services which operates HealthCare.gov admits that there are numerous security weaknesses within the system which could lead to hacking that could result in data breaches including weaknesses with the servers including the continued use of manufacturer’s default passwords which could be easily exploited.  In addition, servers have not been subject to regular security scans.

TIPS

Unfortunately, it is probably only a matter of time before HealthCare.gov is hacked by identity thieves who will steal personal information stored there.  If you have done business with HealthCare.gov, you should regularly monitor all of your financial accounts and you may wish to put a credit freeze on your credit report to prevent someone with access to your personal information from using your credit to make large purchases in your name.  You can find instructions as to how to put a credit freeze on your credit reports on the right hand side of this page.