Security specialists say Obamacare glitches not caused by online attack

The New York Times reports that the technical problems plaguing the federal exchange websites are not the work of hackers. Meanwhile, Politico looks at the playful security questions that some state exchanges are using.

The New York Times: Problems At Health Care Web Site Not From Online Attack, Experts Say
As the federal government struggled on Wednesday to explain the technical problems experienced by would-be users of the health exchange Web site,, computer security specialists say they had ruled out a cyberattack known as a denial of service, or DDoS, attack. Those occur when attackers fire huge amounts of traffic at a Web site until it collapses under the load. Such attacks typically entail hundreds of millions of data requests to a site per second. The federal health care site experienced 4.7 million unique visitors in the first 24 hours. New York State's site experienced 30 million Web requests, which could have been fueled at least in part by a New York advertising blitz on sites like, media coverage, and links from news sharing sites like Reddit (Perlroth, 10/2).

Politico: Obamacare's Funny Bone
Obamacare may be full of glitches, but who knew it had a sense of humor? Forget those staid online security questions about your mother's maiden name or the street where you grew up. New York's health insurance exchange -; known as the New York State of Health (get it?) -; asks: "What band poster did you have on your wall when you were in high school?" Connecticut's health exchange wants to know how many bones you've broken (Kenen, 10/2).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.



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