ObamaCare exchanges may pose a security risk

by Robert Maynard

As the old saying goes, “when it rains, it pours.”  That is an apt description of the problems piling up surrounding the inept roll out of the ObamaCare exchanges.  In addition to all of the problems that Americans are becoming painfully familiar with, it now appears that signing up for the exchanges might present a security risk.  That is the concern expressed by some data security experts, according to this article in Politico.  Here is an excerpt:

Early stumbles on the hobbled Obamacare website — password glitches, incomplete testing and fractured development — underscore considerable safety risks and hint at deeper vulnerabilities, data security experts warn.

Lawmakers seized on those concerns Tuesday and will most likely do so again Wednesday, reverting attention to a process that has astounded IT specialists.

“Some of these things are real amateur hour,” Joseph Lorenzo Hall, the Center for Democracy & Technology’s chief technologist, said in an interview. “This might just be an error, but you could not pass an undergraduate [computer science] class by making these mistakes.”

(PHOTOS: 10 Sebelius quotes about the Obamacare website)

No one has publicly hacked HeathCare.gov, the administration assures it adheres to the most “stringent security standards,” and the repair team has made site safety one of its main components.

“Security testing never ends and will never end for this system or for any large system,” Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner told Senate Health Committee members at Tuesday’s hearing. CMS oversees the federal exchange.

But members in both parties questioned her promises, and Health Committee leader Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) insisted officials view security as “an issue that really has to be focused on thoroughly.”

If that wasn’t bad enough, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has now publicly admitted that it is possible that convicted felons could be navigating the exchanges.  Here is the story courtesy of Pajamas Media:

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) today at a Senate Finance Committee hearing that it’s “possible” Obamacare navigators have criminal records.

“The president’s in Dallas, Texas, touting the navigator program, which as you know, are people who are hired to help people navigate the Affordable Care Act. But I would just like to ask you this question, if you would answer it. Isn’t it true that there is no federal requirement for navigators to undergo a criminal background check, even though they will receive sensitive personal information from the individuals they help to sign-up up for the Affordable Care Act?” Cornyn asked.

“That is true. States could add an additional background checks and other features, but it is not part of the federal requirement,” Sebelius responded.

“So a convicted felon could be a navigator and could acquire sensitive personal information from an individual unbeknownst to them?” he continued.

“That is possible,” Sebelius conceded.