By Jack Minor –
Just when it seemed as if things couldn’t get any worse for the website for President Obama’s signature healthcare legislation, U.S. intelligence officials are not issuing a warning that HelthCare.gov network could be infected with malicious software from a country that was a former member of the USSR during the Cold War.
The intelligence agencies advised the Department of Health and Human Services, which is responsible for the HealthCare.gov network that they discovered programmers in Belarus who have links to the Belarusian government may have inserted malicious code as part of their work on producing the website.
HHS has been warned that the code could open the website up to cyberattacks and further compromise the data submitted by millions of Americans who followed the president’s admonition to use the site to sign up for healthcare insurance.
The Washington Times said that according to officials familiar with the issue the software in question is used to link the millions of Americans who signed up for Obamacare as well as over 300 medical institutions and health care providers, potentially compromising millions of more records.
“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 to the Post, speaking only on the condition of anonymity. “Belarusian President [Alexander] Lukashenko’s authoritarian regime is closely allied with Russia and is adversarial toward the United States,”
Rep. Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican and chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on intelligence has been a frequent critic of the security gaps in the HealthCare.gov site and has grilled members of the administration including HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for ignoring security issues.
Upon hearing of the latest security concerns from Belarus, Rogers said he was shocked to learn that “some parts of HealthCare.gov or systems connected to it may have in fact been written overseas.”
He said the report was especially troubling because an official testified to Congress that all of the software work had been done inside the United States.
“We need an independent, thorough security evaluation of this site, and we need the commitment from the administration that the findings will be acknowledged and promptly addressed,” Mr. Rogers told the Free Beacon.
“I continue to call on HHS to shut down and properly stress test the site to ensure that consumers are protected from potential security risks from across the globe.”