Cyber attacks on healthcare.gov reported to DHS

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An investigation is under way on more than a dozen cyber attacks on healthcare.gov that have been reported to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

According to a report by Reuters, Roberta Stempfley, acting assistant secretary of the DHS' Office of Cybersecurity and Communications, testified before the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday, indicating that the office had received “about 16” reports on cyber security incidents aimed at the site.

The attacks were unsuccessful and occurred from November 6 through November 8.

Additionally, Stempfley shared details on a recent overload of traffic to the site which is suspected by officials to be a denial-of-service attack.

Her testimony marks the first time the Obama administration has publicly addressed security threats to the website, which has received negative criticism over its security.

The site is a prime target for cyber criminals because the data it collects – including Social Security numbers, email addresses, phone numbers and birth dates – which can be used for identity theft.

Software tester, Ben Simo, recently brought to light a number of issues he discovered on the website, including what he says are a “series of steps that could be easily automated” to allow attackers to siphon usernames, password reset codes, security questions and email addresses from the system “without any kind of authentication.” Since then, many of the issues have been rectified.

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