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Critic of Healthcare.gov Security Now Says All Is A-OK

Citing Target breach, Issa calls potential vulnerabilities “very serious” since the database contains reams of personal data.

by
Bill Straub

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January 17, 2014 - 11:12 am
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WASHINGTON – A government cybersecurity expert who initially criticized what she considered to be inadequate protections on the Obamacare website is now giving the system a clean bill of health.

Teresa Fryer, the chief information security officer for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the agency charged with overseeing the site, told the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee on Thursday that recent tests revealed healthcare.gov has not bowed to any cyber assaults and that all appears safe.

“The protections that we have put in place have successfully prevented attacks,” Fryer said. “While no serious security professional will ever guarantee that any system is hack-proof, I am confident, based on the recent security controls assessment and additional security protections, that it is secure.”

“The testing was successfully completed,” she said. “It had good results.”

Fryer, in a memo written in September before the official October launch of healthcare.gov, asserted that the site failed to meet security standards and expressed doubt that the personal information entered by consumers in 36 states hoping to gain the information necessary to purchase health insurance would be properly protected.

She furthermore expressed doubt that the site, created as a marketplace for those looking to fulfill the requirements of the Affordable Care Act, was ready for public use.

That last fear proved prophetic – the tip-off of healthcare.gov proved disastrous, with consumers frequently unable to call up the site and take advantage of its services. Most of those shortcomings have been addressed and now Fryer is offering assurances that it is secure.

Fryer told the panel that security testing is ongoing and that thus far “the protections we have put in place have successfully prevented attacks.” Given that experience, she said she would recommend that the site be granted the authority to operate once the current authorization expires in March. Last September she recommended that the ATO – which was required to launch healthcare.gov — not be signed, advice that wasn’t heeded by officials in the Department of Health and Human Services.

Regardless, committee Republicans, led by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the panel’s chairman, expressed doubt over the website’s security and raised questions regarding why it was allowed to launch in the first place when there was an issue about its vital protections.

Issa insisted that healthcare.gov remains “questionable in its security” and characterized potential vulnerabilities as “very serious” since the database contains reams of personal data.

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43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
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43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
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43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
my friend's sister-in-law makes $83/hr on the internet. She has been fired from work for 5 months but last month her pay check was $19558 just working on the internet for a few hours. go >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>http://bit.do/gzzb
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
David "hacker extraordinaire" Kennedy also testified yesterday that security on healthcare.gov is even worse than at the initial Oct. 1 rollout, given that each and every haphazard, catch as catch can "patch" results in new vulnerabilities.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Teresa Fryer is now set for life. I wonder what her price was.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
With her phone and internet history archived by the NSA, it's plausible that we all have paid that price for her sudden change of heart.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
“Republicans are still obsessed with killing this law,” Cummings said. “After more than 40 votes in the House, they shut down the government in an unsuccessful attempt to defund the law."

And how many of those votes did the Senate take up, you oxygen thief?
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
So they passed some sort of security "testing." I'll bet the testing was done by the same guy (Obama donor) investigating the IRS scandal.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Have the ones testing the security of the program put their own personal financial data on the heathcare.gov website?
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
She departed from the narrative... so she was brought into line. Blackmail, threats, bribery, or a combination of the three. Depend on it.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
The claim is probably as valid as: If you like your healthcare insurance, you can keep your healthcare insurance. Period.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
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