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Healthcaregov.: A MOST alarming breach of security

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
November 4th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

If there was any more reason to distrust Obamacare, people signing up online are now reporting that after registering, they are being sent HIGHLY confidential information from other applicants. There is always a potential risk when one enters private information online - but one incident is especially egregious.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - One man says that he logged on to HealthCare.gov to evaluate his insurance options after his health plan was rudely canceled. What happened next revealed a very alarming security flaw that may put others off to registering online: He received disclosed eligibility letters addressed to individuals from another state.

"I was in complete shock," he says. A father who lives in North Carolina, logged on to the site after Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina dropped him.

After trying several times to access the problem-plagued web site, he finally made it past the registration page last week. That's when he was greeted with downloadable letters about eligibility - for two people in South Carolina!

Dated October 8, the letters acknowledge receipt of an application to the Health Insurance Marketplace and the eligibility of family members to purchase health coverage. One of the letters was to a lawyer from Elgin, South Carolina.

Writing to Heritage, he also contacted the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which administers HealthCare.gov, as well as elected officials in his state. He has yet to hear back from HHS, even though HealthCare.gov still displays the personal information of the South Carolina residents on his account.

The Associated Press disclosed a government memo last week revealing the "high" security risk for HealthCare.gov. Last week's hearing with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius admitted that the system was secure.

"When consumers fill out their online . applications, they can trust that the information they're providing is protected by stringent security standards and that the technology underlying the application process has been tested and is secure," HHS spokeswoman Joanne Peters said

Congressional members were quick to voice their concerns. "You accepted a risk on behalf of every user . that put their personal financial information at risk," Representative Mike Rogers (R-MI) told Sebelius. "Amazon would never do this. ProFlowers would never do this. Kayak would never do this. This is completely an unacceptable level of security."

Users of HealthCare.gov are apparently leaving their personal information unsecured.

"Once it goes out over the system, it is vulnerable," cyber-security expert Steven Bucci says. "There appears to have been a singular lack of concern for security. The site needs to receive and transmit sensitive personal information, yet it has less than state of the art security."

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