The launch of Healthcare.gov, the US government’s health insurance website, was beset with technical problems so severe that only six people were able to enroll on its first day in October 2013. Ahead of a second enrollment period, beginning on November 15th, government officials are launching cyberattacks against the revamped site to make sure the same crippling bugs and security holes don’t appear again.
Andy Slavitt, hired to oversee the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Healthcare.gov program, says that groups of white-hat hackers in his team are conducting weekly attacks on the network that simulate real hacking attempts, in order to probe for weak points and bolster its defenses. Flaws in the previous incarnation of Healthcare.gov were exposed earlier this year when a security researcher reportedly obtained 70,000 medical records through a Google search.
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