Vermont health-care web­site se­cu­rity breached


Vermont re­cently con­firmed that a se­cu­rity breach of the state’s health-care ex­change web­site gave at least one user ac­cess to another res­i­dent’s so­cial se­cu­rity num­ber, a dis­clo­sure that has the ex­change’s top of­fi­cial in hot wa­ter. The Vermont Health Con­nect’s pri­vacy watch­dog re­ported the se­cu­rity breach in a let­ter to the fed­eral Cen­ters for Medi­care & Med­i­caid Ser­vices. Ac­cord­ing to that re­port, one con­sumer who had logged on to the ex­change’s web­site re­ceived a copy of his ap­pli­ca­tion for insurance in the mail, from an un­named sen­der. A note scrawled on the back of the en­ve­lope read: “VERMONT HEALTH CON­NECT IS NOT A SE­CURE WEB­SITE!”

The Depart­ment of Vermont Health Ac­cess com­mis­sioner Mark Lar­son told it was the only se­cu­rity breach to oc­cur since the site launched Oc­to­ber 1. But he had told state leg­is­la­tors at a hear­ing on Novem­ber 5 that his depart­ment had only in­ves­ti­gated one com­plaint about se­cu­rity breaches, and that the com­plaint was un­founded.

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