Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

11/4/2013
07:43 PM
50%
50%

Data Privacy Scare On HealthCare.gov

When the inside threat is your own system

Had you asked me last week whether the situation for the federal government's embattled insurance marketplace website, HealthCare.gov, could get any worse, I probably would have said, "I don't see how." Today, I'm not so sure.

On a very personal level, I have done more than just peruse HealthCare.gov over the past month. I actually created an account. After three sets of username and password combinations and more than three hours spread across two days, I finally completed the account creation process -- or, should I say, the account creation process finally worked. I found the process to be as was widely reported: disjointed, clunky, and largely broken. If I had been my father, I would never have been able to complete the process. (Sorry, Dad.)

As you might expect, the process did nothing to inspire confidence, much less assuage my fears for the security of my own personal information.

Serious concerns for the personal data privacy of HealthCare.gov users began to increase significantly two weeks prior to the launch of the federal government's website. The State of Minnesota's new health insurance exchange had its own privacy breach, causing many to question whether the systems were ready for prime time (see "The Breach In The Ointment Of The Affordable Care Act"). The recent Congressional oversight hearings on the HealthCare.gov rollout brought data privacy concerns to the forefront as political leaders on both sides of the aisle grilled Health and Human Services heads over security testing of the website. And finally, somehow, White House press secretary Jay Carney's reassurance that "consumers can trust that their information is protected by stringent security standards" didn't make me feel any more confident.

As if on cue, reports surfaced late Saturday that one HealthCare.gov user received eligibility letters via the website addressed to and intended for other HealthCare.gov users. While this one incident does not constitute a major breach in terms of number of personal records exposed, it does call into question the integrity of a back-end system that would serve up documents belonging to another user. And if this turned out to be a widespread problem, the consequences could be serious.

Since I exerted significant time and energy in acquiring a HealthCare.gov account, I didn't want all of that effort to be for naught. I logged into the system to see whether I had any eligibility notices and if, by chance, they belonged to someone else. When my applications page came up, I found that I did have an eligibility notice waiting for me. But when I downloaded it, sadly, I found it was addressed to me and no one else.

Given the high profile of the health-care debate and the enormous political capital at stake, you can be sure every self-proclaimed hacker worth her salt is banging away at HealthCare.gov, looking to uncover any vulnerability. If there are security deficiencies, then they are sure to be found quickly and exploited.

I guess the good news from my personal testing is we now know the problem with misdirected eligibility letters is not 100 percent pervasive. The bad news is we now know that HealthCare.gov is its own greatest inside threat. Jared is president of DLP Experts, a value-added reseller dedicated exclusively to data loss prevention (DLP) and other data protection technologies and services. For over twenty years Jared has held executive level positions with technology firms, with the last six years ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
Microsoft Patches Wormable RCE Vulns in Remote Desktop Services
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  8/13/2019
The Mainframe Is Seeing a Resurgence. Is Security Keeping Pace?
Ray Overby, Co-Founder & President at Key Resources, Inc.,  8/15/2019
GitHub Named in Capital One Breach Lawsuit
Dark Reading Staff 8/14/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
7 Threats & Disruptive Forces Changing the Face of Cybersecurity
This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at the biggest emerging threats and disruptive forces that are changing the face of cybersecurity today.
Flash Poll
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
Your enterprise's cyber risk may depend upon the relationship between the IT team and the security team. Heres some insight on what's working and what isn't in the data center.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-15132
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-17
Zabbix through 4.4.0alpha1 allows User Enumeration. With login requests, it is possible to enumerate application usernames based on the variability of server responses (e.g., the "Login name or password is incorrect" and "No permissions for system access" messages, or just blocki...
CVE-2019-15133
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-17
In GIFLIB before 2019-02-16, a malformed GIF file triggers a divide-by-zero exception in the decoder function DGifSlurp in dgif_lib.c if the height field of the ImageSize data structure is equal to zero.
CVE-2019-15134
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-17
RIOT through 2019.07 contains a memory leak in the TCP implementation (gnrc_tcp), allowing an attacker to consume all memory available for network packets and thus effectively stopping all network threads from working. This is related to _receive in sys/net/gnrc/transport_layer/tcp/gnrc_tcp_eventloo...
CVE-2019-14937
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-17
REDCap before 9.3.0 allows time-based SQL injection in the edit calendar event via the cal_id parameter, such as cal_id=55 and sleep(3) to Calendar/calendar_popup_ajax.php. The attacker can obtain a user's login sessionid from the database, and then re-login into REDCap to compromise all data.
CVE-2019-13069
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-17
extenua SilverSHielD 6.x fails to secure its ProgramData folder, leading to a Local Privilege Escalation to SYSTEM. The attacker must replace SilverShield.config.sqlite with a version containing an additional user account, and then use SSH and port forwarding to reach a 127.0.0.1 service.