Amidst all the data breaches regarding the US voters data, here comes another blow for the Americans. The government’s health insurance system, HealthCare.gov, allegedly suffered a cyber attack, letting the hackers to pilfer thousands of patients’ records. HealthCare.gov is primarily a health insurance portal allowing customers to sign up for Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
HealthCare.gov Suffered Data Breach After Cyber Attack
As disclosed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the HealthCare.gov system endured a major cyber attack that allowed hackers to pilfer large amounts of data. Reportedly, the HealthCare.gov suffered data breach of 75,000 records that includes sensitive personal information as well.
According to the CMS, they noticed some suspicious activity in the Direct Enrollment Pathway meant for the agents and brokers. Upon investigations, they found that the hackers have allegedly stolen 75,000 records from the system. As stated in their press release,
CMS staff detected anomalous activity in the Federally Facilitated Exchanges, or FFE’s Direct Enrollment pathway for agents and brokers… At this time, we believe that approximately 75,000 individuals’ files were accessed.
Although, CMS didn’t reveal much details about the types of information lost in this attack. Nonetheless, one can certainly speculate the extent of the data by the fact that the hackers compromised the HealthCare.gov system’s sign-up process, which requires the customers to enter explicit personal details and social security numbers.
When commenting on the significance of this incident, despite being relatively small scale, CMS stated,
While this is a small fraction of consumer records present on the FFE, any breach of our system is unacceptable. Our number one priority is the safety and security of the Americans we serve.
Besides, they also pledge to keep working tirelessly for the convenience of the victims of this data breach. According to Seema Verma, CMS Administrator,
“We are working to identify the individuals potentially impacted as quickly as possible so that we can notify them and provide resources such as credit protection.”
For now, CMS confirmed that the hacking attack only affected the portal, and the direct HealthCare.gov website remains unaffected. Verma stated,
“I want to make clear to the public that HealthCare.gov and the Marketplace Call Center are still available, and open enrollment will not be negatively impacted.”
Presently, not much details have been revealed regarding the incident although we may know more in the days to come.
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