Great news: ObamaCare website written by Belarus-linked programmers

posted at 12:01 pm on February 4, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Don’t worry. I have it on good authority from a Nigerian prince and a friend who lost his wallet in Vladivostok that these guys were totally on the level:

U.S. intelligence agencies last week urged the Obama administration to check its new healthcare network for malicious software after learning that developers linked to the Belarus government helped produce the website, raising fresh concerns that private data posted by millions of Americans will be compromised.

The intelligence agencies notified the Department of Health and Human Services, the agency in charge of the Healthcare.gov network, about their concerns last week. Specifically, officials warned that programmers in Belarus, a former Soviet republic closely allied with Russia, were suspected of inserting malicious code that could be used for cyber attacks, according to U.S. officials familiar with the concerns.

The software links the millions of Americans who signed up for Obamacare to the federal government and more than 300 medical institutions and healthcare providers.

“The U.S. Affordable Care Act software was written in part in Belarus by software developers under state control, and that makes the software a potential target for cyber attacks,” one official said.

We’ve been hearing all along that the architecture of the Healthcare.gov website is particularly susceptible to hacker penetration. David Kennedy, a former Marine Corps cyberwarfare expert turned Internet security consultant, has warned since October that the system leaves critical identity information exposed. That got worse rather than better after the operational fixes made in November, and HHS doesn’t even have systems in place to detect such intrusions.

Small wonder why the Obama administration didn’t want to brief Congress on security issues in December.  These security gaps were presumed to be the product of incompetent programming and management. Until now, we didn’t realize that the subcontracts for programming went in part to a firm connected with a hostile regime.  Belarus has remained a satellite to Moscow with a dictator in charge ever since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Alexander Lukashenko, and the regime is decidedly unfriendly to the West. Currently, the US doesn’t even recognize the legitimacy of Lukashenko’s government after his rigged 2010 election.

How did this happen? Normally, we’d pay good money to keep hostile regimes from penetrating our government operations. In this case, it looks as though we paid them to do it. Great job, HHS!

But it’s not all bad. If you think your identity information has been hijacked, just call the ObamaCare hotline. Be sure to ask for Peggy.


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Belarus. Don’t they make those tractors that you have to buy two of so you can be sure you have parts to fix one or the other?

oldroy on February 4, 2014 at 12:02 PM

Reset!

pain train on February 4, 2014 at 12:03 PM

Peggy?

Lanceman on February 4, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Putin’s in your pants, literally.

Schadenfreude on February 4, 2014 at 12:06 PM

Forget it, go to Mexico.

Schadenfreude on February 4, 2014 at 12:07 PM

…it’s ok!…the community organizers are in charge!…when everybody’s system crashes…and you spend tons getting them fixed…it’s good for the economy!

KOOLAID2 on February 4, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Boy, when Obama reads about this, nobody is going to be madder!

Seriously though, what could possibly go wrong with letting foreign nationals build one of the most sensitive websites the government maintains? It’s as if critics don’t trust the Belarus government or something!

Happy Nomad on February 4, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Feature not a bug. This is exactly what the current administration wants. The only issue is this became public knowledge.

What does anyone expect from an openly American hostile administration that believes America needs fundamental changes and that capitalism is worse than communism?

Skwor on February 4, 2014 at 12:09 PM

Looks like another “bone-head” decision…

right2bright on February 4, 2014 at 12:09 PM

Isn’t it great that Obama loves America so much?

Bitter Clinger on February 4, 2014 at 12:10 PM

And if there is one or more viruses embedded in the code, or function calls to viruses living on a server somewhere else in the world, those viruses won’t be interested in the health of Americans (except for some personal data), you can bet those viruses will be winding their ways into much more lucrative government computers

Walter L. Newton on February 4, 2014 at 12:13 PM

I can remember when liberals were screeching about outsourcing. What say they about this?

Bitter Clinger on February 4, 2014 at 12:14 PM

Well done with the Discover Card reference, Ed!

blammm on February 4, 2014 at 12:15 PM

I think the blame for this will rest with the previous administration. Know way Obama knew anything about this. Snort.

Big Orange on February 4, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Isn’t it great that Obama loves America so much?

Bitter Clinger on February 4, 2014 at 12:10 PM

I’d ask which side he is on, but since at least 5 days prior to the 2008 election, we’ve know that it’s not America’s side.

Obama and Obamacare – when farce becomes a painful and tragic reality.

Seriously, this Administration is acting as if incompetence, fecklessness, and rank stupidity are positive traits to embrace.

(Yes, I know that in this Administration, ideological loyalty is preferred over every other trait, including competence, efficiency, and effectiveness.)

Athos on February 4, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Isn’t it great that Obama loves America so much?

Bitter Clinger on February 4, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Hey, if it were not for Fox News and Rush Limbaugh we’d all know what a wonderful President, awesome father, decent human being and all around great American the lying rat-eared toad really is.

Happy Nomad on February 4, 2014 at 12:17 PM

The Venn diagrams of hackers in Belarus and programmers in Belarus overlaps so closely as to resemble a single circle.

theCork on February 4, 2014 at 12:17 PM

Maybe the Belorussian code counts paid enrollments. They had to outsource that since nobody here seems to know what the numbers are.

oldroy on February 4, 2014 at 12:18 PM

Hey, I said it first! ;-)

I’d still like to see it confirmed by another source. It sounds a bit fishy although who knows what CGI did with “outsourcing”…

Here is another angle on possible security issues w/ the OCare website.

“The U.S. Affordable Care Act software was written in part in Belarus by software developers under state control, and that makes the software a potential target for cyber attacks,” one official said.

And…

The officials said there are serious concerns that the Belarusian software contains malicious code that could be used to covertly route data from the Obamacare website to foreign locations.

Additionally, they suspect the Belarusians planted secret “backdoor” openings to the software that will permit surreptitious entry to U.S. government networks by hackers or spies.

I haven’t yet seen this info confirmed anywhere else yet, so hopefully it will turn out to not be true.

climbnjump on February 4, 2014 at 9:52 AM

climbnjump on February 4, 2014 at 12:20 PM

Will this finally get Sibelius fired, if not indicted for aiding and abetting foreign intelligence agencies?

jake49 on February 4, 2014 at 12:23 PM

The USA has been hacked by Obama and his formerly mysterious donors. That’s our reality today. It’s what Obama refers to as a “bone headed” deed, the ruination of US citizens’ personal information and just about everything else imaginable.

Is there *ANYthing* Obama has done that is legitimate, ethical, beneficial to the USA? Helloo, anyone?

Lourdes on February 4, 2014 at 12:23 PM

I can remember when liberals were screeching about outsourcing. What say they about this?

Bitter Clinger on February 4, 2014 at 12:14 PM

It’s like the homeless. Not an issue except when Republicans are in charge. When Dems are running things, outsourcing is living in the reality of a global economy. Put a Republican back in charge and suddenly this is stealing jobs from American programmers-

Which begs the question just why American programmers were not used. It’s not like they’re all employed in the rat-eared bastard’s economy.

Happy Nomad on February 4, 2014 at 12:24 PM

Will this finally get Sibelius fired, if not indicted for aiding and abetting foreign intelligence agencies?

jake49 on February 4, 2014 at 12:23 PM

No. She’ll have a statue of her raised across from the WH, Obama will give her some raving well-padded “retirement” placement, she’ll get to pick and chose her replacement when she floats on off to the DNC Traitor Folks Home.

Lourdes on February 4, 2014 at 12:25 PM

Who was the guy Obama handed over millions to to “build” Obamacare site? His firm, the one already proven to be crooked, granted millions more. In Canada or someplace.

This isn’t an accidental doing, this Belarious involvement. Not one tiny slip of the plan, I suspect.

Lourdes on February 4, 2014 at 12:27 PM

OT:

Saw a posting yesterday from the one, the Only
Flora Duh!

ToddPA on February 4, 2014 at 12:30 PM

Which begs the question just why American programmers were not used. It’s not like they’re all employed in the rat-eared bastard’s economy.

Happy Nomad on February 4, 2014 at 12:24 PM

Minimizing costs and maximizing profits for CGI Federal and the other companies tasked with building the website. As simple as that. And you are quite right re the double standard over outsourcing and the reality of globalization.

It’s not going to get any better with Accenture taking over from CGI. The majority of their development teams are not US based either – Far East primarily but I would not be surprised if they had some in Eastern Europe either.

It also makes one wonder just who and what is being done within the bloated IT departments of our federal agencies…or the procurement operations within those agencies.

Athos on February 4, 2014 at 12:32 PM

USA Prime Credit. My name is…Peggy.

Galtian on February 4, 2014 at 12:32 PM

This isn’t an accidental doing, this Belarious involvement. Not one tiny slip of the plan, I suspect.

Lourdes on February 4, 2014 at 12:27 PM

I see what you did there. Heh

Rio Linda Refugee on February 4, 2014 at 12:32 PM

Damn that Fox News!

Deafdog on February 4, 2014 at 12:33 PM

So someone from Belarus went to Princeton with Michelle Obama?

Wethal on February 4, 2014 at 12:36 PM

But it’s not all bad. If you think your identity information has been hijacked, just call the ObamaCare hotline. Be sure to ask for Peggy.

Ed, that’s going to be the new meme for Obamacare…

…Worried about your identity information? Need help to buy your Obamacare policy, change your Obamacare policy, confirm coverage, clarify the subsidy…

…all you need to do is call 1-800-F1CKYOU and the first thing you hear is, ‘My name Peggy….’

From now on, all help desk people related to Obamacare are nicknamed ‘Peggy’.

The gifts from the EpicClusterFarkNado just keep coming…

Athos on February 4, 2014 at 12:37 PM

Never fear citizens. This same government WILL hold Target responsible for their security lapses.

JAGonzo on February 4, 2014 at 12:39 PM

It just keeps getting better !

stenwin77 on February 4, 2014 at 12:40 PM

Looks like another troll-free thread thanks to Obamacare.

Seriously, there seems to be no end to the stupidity that comes out of the Democrats, yet the low info voters will never hear of this.

The only thing they’ll know is that their identity was stolen and it was probably a big Republican backed corporation that caused it and not Obamacare/healthcare.gov.

Good times.

Mark Boabaca on February 4, 2014 at 12:41 PM

I hate to say I told you so – because to any CompSci-type it is blatantly obvious and not some amazing forecast – but as I’ve said before, the Obamacare website system is guaranteed to be riddled with trojans and a diversity of other malware.

Some of it waiting to be triggered, others digging around and sending info back home as we speak. Belarus being in the top tier of their homes…

Seriously, it should be illegal for politicians to have anything to do with IT… Or anything else for that matter.

For the record, here’s another one we’re going to hear about in the future:

As the NSA is obtaining and storing CDR (call detail record) databases – the databases that are deleted periodically by the carriers themselves as standard operating procedure, the NSA can not only spy on our activities with those records, they can modify the data to become whatever ‘evidence’ their bosses want them to become.

There will be those who are found guilty because the data says they are guilty.

DrDeano on February 4, 2014 at 12:41 PM

Something about purchasing a rope to hang yourself comes to mind.

Deano1952 on February 4, 2014 at 12:41 PM

It also makes one wonder just who and what is being done within the bloated IT departments of our federal agencies…or the procurement operations within those agencies.

Athos on February 4, 2014 at 12:32 PM

For that matter, just who is testing the system to make sure it is secure. Peggy?

Happy Nomad on February 4, 2014 at 12:41 PM

In other news, Ed Snowden has obtained a temporary work visa to Belarus, where his responsibilities include sending financial data concerning Obamacare enrollees to the KGB, so that Komrade Vlad can be more flexible with their bank accounts.

Steve Z on February 4, 2014 at 12:42 PM

So someone from Belarus went to Princeton with Michelle Obama?

Wethal on February 4, 2014 at 12:36 PM

Don’t be silly. Belarus is where Obama’s college transcripts and real birth certificate are kept.

Happy Nomad on February 4, 2014 at 12:43 PM

This would be the equivalent of the Elbonians living in mud that pop-up in Dilbert cartoons.

DanMan on February 4, 2014 at 12:45 PM

HHS doesn’t even have systems in place to detect such intrusions.

That’s a FEATURE, not a bug.

Just like King Barack’s campaign turned OFF all the security features to detect ILLEGAL contributions.

Since intrusions can’t be detected, NONE HAVE OCCURRED!

GarandFan on February 4, 2014 at 12:58 PM

If this regime hated America and wanted to take us down, what would they be doing different?

rbj on February 4, 2014 at 1:20 PM

All yer datas are belong to us.

BigWyo on February 4, 2014 at 1:20 PM

Wow. Even by Obama’s miserable track record of failure, this is a standout. Give all the personal information to the Russians. Doesn’t at all sound like a massive national security risk to me. Nope. Not at all.

KMC1 on February 4, 2014 at 1:25 PM

so why did we have them write the code for the website again?? was nobody available in the united states? oh, wait they were probably trying to save money, because they were on a very strict budget for the website, right?

jetch on February 4, 2014 at 1:26 PM

Until now, we didn’t realize that the subcontracts for programming went in part to a firm connected with a hostile regime. Belarus has remained a satellite to Moscow with a dictator in charge ever since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Alexander Lukashenko, and the regime is decidedly unfriendly to the West.

Well, that theory makes no sense. If they wanted to destroy us, they’d want to make sure Obamacare works as designed.

Socratease on February 4, 2014 at 1:40 PM

and then hotair will run out of material to bash the President on…that’s what you’re really afraid of, right?

nonpartisan on November 19, 2013 at 4:47 PM

But these Obamacare posts are about whistling past the graveyard, by next Novemeber Democrats will be openly running on the ACA. Mark my words.

libfreeordie on December 20, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Chris of Rights on February 4, 2014 at 2:12 PM

This would be the equivalent of the Elbonians living in mud that pop-up in Dilbert cartoons.

DanMan on February 4, 2014 at 12:45 PM

I hope that was a sarcastic comment of some sort.

Because Belarus, Russia and much of that region are hotbeds of extremely proficient hackers as good – or better – than any in the world.

DrDeano on February 4, 2014 at 2:13 PM

So the hackers steal your identity and get new credit cards in your name, send you all the bills AND as a bonus they ef up your PC with malware.

404Care the site that keeps on giving….

dogsoldier on February 4, 2014 at 7:08 PM

It’s so racist to suspect foreigners of hacking Obamacare ™, just because they don’t look like us, doesn’t mean they are not also citizens of the world. /

If Obama had a Belarus son …, nobody is angrier about security breaches … if you like your identity, you can keep it, … we need to build the code to see what’s in it … etc.

virgo on February 5, 2014 at 1:54 AM