Heartbleed programming flaws have caused major safety concerns throughout the internet as it continues to attack a widely used encryption programs meant to protect users from being hacked. Among the sites now deemed vulnerable is Healthcare.gov. While federal officials state that “there is no indication that the site has been compromised,” administrators have ordered people who have accounts on the enrollment site for insurance coverage under the Affordable Healthcare Act to change their passwords because of the large amounts of personal information it contains. The President announced last week that approximately 8 million people throughout the country had enrolled in various plans.
In fact, a message posted on the website yesterday reads, “While there is no indication that any personal information has ever been at risk, we have taken steps to address Heartbleed issues and reset consumer passwords out of an abundance of caution.” Critics have expressed their concerns about the Obamacare website’s potential vulnerability ever since it’s trouble-filled launch last October, despite corrections made during the second month of open enrollment.
In the meantime, major internet services are working to insulate themselves from attack, as they continue to investigate the extent of damage done by the Heartbleed bug during the past two years before it was detected. As of April 8, 2014, an analysis posted on GitHub of the most visited websites vulnerabilities have been found in sites including “Yahoo!, Imgur, Stack Overflow, Slate, and DuckDuckGo. , while the following sites have services affected or made announcements recommending that users update passwords in response to the bug: Akamai Technologies; Amazon Web Services; Ars Technica; Bitbucket; BrandVerity; GitHub; IFTTT; Internet Archive; Mojang; Mumsnet; PeerJ; Pinterest; Prezi; Reddit; Something Awful; SoundCloud; SourceForge; SparkFun; Stripe; Tumblr; Wattpad; Wikimedia/Wikipedia and Wunderlist..
Patches to repair security breaches have been developed for many of the companies affected.