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​Obamacare enrollees warned about Heartbleed super bug

Published time: April 20, 2014 13:17
Screenshot from HealthCare.gov

Screenshot from HealthCare.gov

The 8 million Americans who have signed up to President Barack Obama's health insurance website, HealthCare.gov, have been advised to change their passwords to guard against a Web encryption glitch.

While Obamacare hopes to insure Americans from the high cost of medical care, it may prove no match against the threat of Heartbleed, a “catastrophic bug” thought to have attacked two out of every three web servers on the internet, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The computer bug, which leaves online data vulnerable to hacker attacks, has penetrated a popular web encryption software known as OpenSSL. The computer systems of many corporations that rely on the technology to protect the privacy of their clients’ personal information are feared compromised.

A message on HealthCare.gov advised enrollees of the government website they would need to create a new password to visit 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 computer bug is just the latest setback for Obamacare’s website, which opened last fall to numerous complaints from users who could not access the site.

The US leader on Thursday announced at a White House press conference that 8 million Americans had already enlisted in the program.

Republicans hope to capitalize on the problems connected with the healthcare plan ahead of November's congressional elections.

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