Friday, February 7, 2014

Obamacare Network may be vulnerable to Malicious Code from a former Soviet Republic

U.S. intelligence is urging the Obama administration to check its new health care computer network for malicious software after learning that developers linked to the Belarusian government helped produce the website, raising fresh concerns that private data posted by millions of Americans could be compromised. 
The intelligence agencies notified the Department of Health and Human Services, the agency in charge of the network, about their concerns last week. Specifically, officials warned that programmers in Belarus, a former Soviet republic closely allied with Russia, were suspected of inserting malicious code that could be used for cyberattacks, said U.S. officials familiar with concerns.
The software on the website links the millions of Americans who signed up for Obamacare to the government and more than 300 medical institutions and health care providers. 
“The U.S. Affordable Care Act software was written in part in Belarus by software developers under state control, and that makes the software a potential target for cyberattacks,” one official explained, speaking only on the condition of anonymity.
Cybersecurity officials said the concerns are compounded by an Internet data “hijacking” incident last year involving Belarusian state-controlled networks. The monthlong diversion covertly rerouted massive amounts of U.S. Internet traffic to Belarus — a repressive dictatorship country bordering Russia, Poland and Ukraine. 
“Belarusian President [Alexander] Lukashenko’s authoritarian regime is closely allied with Russia and is adversarial toward the United States,” the official said.
The combination of the Belarus-origin software, the Internet rerouting and the anti-U.S. posture of the Belarusian government “makes the software written in Belarus a potential target of cyberattacks for identity theft and privacy violations” of Americans, the official said. U.S. officials were alerted to the Belarus angle last month when a top official in the country boasted on radio about his country’s role in programming the Obamacare website.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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