Obamacare enrollees urged to change passwords over Heartbleed bug

NEW YORK Sun Apr 20, 2014 2:04pm IST

A lock icon, signifying an encrypted Internet connection, is seen on an Internet Explorer browser in a photo illustration in Paris April 15, 2014. REUTERS/Mal Langsdon

A lock icon, signifying an encrypted Internet connection, is seen on an Internet Explorer browser in a photo illustration in Paris April 15, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Mal Langsdon

Related Topics

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Americans with accounts on President Barack Obama’s health insurance enrollment website, HealthCare.gov, were advised that their passwords had been reset to guard against the "Heartbleed" bug, in a message posted on the site on Saturday.

The warning marks the latest fallout from the widespread security bug, which surfaced this month and allows hackers to steal data online without a trace. Companies from Amazon.com Inc to Google Inc. have been forced to take steps to protect against Heartbleed.

A message on HealthCare.gov said users who visited the website would need to create a new password to access their accounts.

"While there's no indication that any personal information has ever been at risk, we have taken steps to address Heartbleed issues and reset consumers' passwords out of an abundance of caution," said the message posted on Saturday.

The Heartbleed security flaw is a "catastrophic bug" believed to affect two out of every three Web servers, according to the Electronic Freedom Foundation.

HealthCare.gov, a health insurance exchange for the 36 states that opted out of creating their own state insurance exchanges, was created under Obama’s signature health care law, the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The website's launch last fall was dogged by complaints that many users could not access the site to buy insurance or research healthcare plan options. Most of the website’s most prominent flaws were eventually remedied.

Obama on Thursday announced in the White House briefing room that 8 million people had signed up by the latest enrollment deadline of April 15. The program's original goal was 7 million signups by the end of March, which was met.

Republicans have been relentless in their criticism of the healthcare law ahead of November's congressional elections, when the GOP hopes to reclaim control of the U.S. Senate and strengthen its majority in the House of Representatives.

Critics of Obama's health initiative have suggested HealthCare.gov might be vulnerable to security flaws.

The Heartbleed bug exploits a glitch in a widely used Web encryption program known as OpenSSL.

It has not affected only corporations.

Canada's tax-collection agency said this month that the private information of hundreds of people had been compromised as hackers exploited the Heartbleed bug.

(Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Reuters Showcase

Balancing Act

Balancing Act

Europe's carmakers walk tightrope between low cost and high spec.  Full Article 

'Windows 10'

'Windows 10'

Microsoft names next operating system 'Windows 10'  Full Article 

Split from eBay

Split from eBay

Analysis - PayPal spawn have advanced where PayPal stood still   Full Article 

iPhone 6 in China

iPhone 6 in China

With iPhone 6 approved in China, Apple suppliers ready for demand.  Full Article 

Netflix Deal

Netflix Deal

Netflix 'Crouching Tiger' deal incurs wrath of theater chains.  Full Article 

Oracle Convention

Oracle Convention

Larry Ellison still the top draw at Oracle's mega-convention  Full Article 

Tax Rules

Tax Rules

EU says Ireland swapped Apple tax deal for jobs.  Full Article 

Music Services

Music Services

Google searches for right note in online music business.  Full Article 

E-Commerce Dispute

E-Commerce Dispute

Amazon, Disney appear close to settling dispute over movies - WSJ.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage