Tags: Emerging Threats | Healthcare Reform | anthem | data | obamacare | hack | health

Obamacare Records Not Part of Anthem Data Hack

By    |   Friday, 06 Feb 2015 08:58 AM

Obamacare websites were spared by the Anthem hackers, according to The Hill, but the federal exchange marketplace is ripe for the picking, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch said Thursday.

"They have not put in the fail-safe requirements or mechanisms that protect some of this data," Sen. Hatch of Utah said, referring to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which oversees the sites HealthCare.gov and Medicare.gov. "It’s a doggone disaster."

It was reported this week that hackers tapped in to Anthem’s network, containing the private data of 80 million former and current members and employees of Anthem, including its president and CEO, Joseph Swedish, who posted a personal message on the company’s website.

"Safeguarding your personal, financial and medical information is one of our top priorities, and because of that, we have state-of-the-art information security systems to protect your data," Swedish wrote. "However, despite our efforts, Anthem was the target of a very sophisticated external cyberattack.

"These attackers gained unauthorized access to Anthem’s IT system and have obtained personal information from our current and former members such as their names, birthdays, medical IDs/Social Security numbers, street addresses, email addresses and employment information, including income data.

"Based on what we know now, there is no evidence that credit card or medical information, such as claims, test results or diagnostic codes were targeted or compromised."

Cybersecurity at HealthCare.gov, Obamacare’s federal exchange website, has long been a concern for some members of Congress. In September, The New York Times reported that hackers breached the site’s security but did not steal any personal information.

A CMS spokesman said at the time that the site’s test server should not have been connected to the Internet, and that it "came from the manufacturer with a default password that had not been changed," The Hill reported.

The server also did not undergo regular security scans, as it should have, he added.

That same CMS spokesman, Aaron Albright, said Thursday that "while there is no indication at this time that the attack against Anthem has impacted HealthCare.gov or Medicare.gov, we remain vigilant in responding to cybersecurity events."

Anthem sells its plans through HealthCare.gov.

Last month, The Associated Press reported that HealthCare.gov is sending personal health information to at least 14 third-party domains that specialize in advertising and "analyzing Internet data for performance and marketing."

"The scope of what is disclosed or how it might be used was not immediately clear, but it can include age, income, ZIP code, whether a person smokes, and if a person is pregnant," according to the AP.

"It can include a computer's Internet address, which can identify a person's name or address when combined with other information collected by sophisticated online marketing or advertising firms."

The administration responded by adding more encryption to the site to limit the amount of information outside companies could access.

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Obamacare websites were spared by the Anthem hackers, according to The Hill, but the federal exchange marketplace is ripe for the picking, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch said Thursday.
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2015-58-06
Friday, 06 Feb 2015 08:58 AM
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