November 14, 2013
The Obama administration has gained a helping hand from the Department of Homeland Security as it tries to explain why HealthCare.gov is a mess.
Government bureaucrats say they are hot on the trail of hackers who reportedly engaged in attacks against the crippled system. DHS officialdom, however, said the attack failed.Computer anti-virus company founder John McAfee: Government attacked HealthCare.gov.
The hacksters are said to have pelted the website with a denial of service attack. The government told CNN it found “a tool designed to put heavy strain on HealthCare.gov.”
A denial of service “tool, primarily written in the Delphi programming language, has emerged, and it’s singular purpose is to knock the healthcare exchange offline,” Brian Donahue, writing for Threatpost.com, reported last week.
“The tool reportedly performs layer seven requests to get to the webpage, alternating between healthcare.gov and that same website’s ‘contact us’ page…. the application is available for download from a number of sources and is being distributed on social media networks as well.”
Anonymous and other groups have used denial of service and other computer attacks against government and corporate websites for political purposes. They have routinely exploited the attacks for their propaganda value. The HealthCare.gov attack, however, was not politicized. Moreover, unlike other denial of service tools, the source of software used in the alleged HealthCare.gov remains a mystery.
On November 7, Marc Eisenbarth of Arbor Networks’ Security Engineering and Response Team said his group “has no information on the active use of this software. ASERT has seen site specific denial of service tools in the past related to topics of social or political interest.”
The lack of political or social message attached to the attack raises an important question.
Is it possible the attack was staged by the government as part of an orchestrated effort to divert attention away from its dismal failure to roll-out a functioning Obamacare enrollment website?
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