Yesterday, the House Homeland Security Committee published a video on their Youtube page highlighting a portion of the committee questioning Roberta Stempfley, acting assistant secretary of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Cyber-security and Communications, who confirmed at least 16 attacks on the Affordable Care Act’s portal Healthcare.gov website in 2013.
Roberta Stempfley highlighted one successful attack that is designed to deny access to the website called a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. A DDoS attack is designed to make a network unavailable to intended users, generally through a concerted effort to disrupt service such as repeatedly accessing the servers, saturating them with more traffic than the website is designed to handle.
Right wingers have been distributing the link to the necessary tools to perform the attacks on the Healthcare.gov website through social networking, as pointed out by Information Week, and other websites .
The name of the attack tool is called, “Destroy Obama Care!”
“Destroy Obama Care!”, that’s the advertised name given to the attack tool by “right wing patriots” who are distributing the DDoS tool through downloads on social networks, which promises to overwhelm the Healthcare.gov website.
“This program continually displays alternate page of the ObamaCare website. It has no virus, Trojans, worms, or cookies. The purpose is to overload the ObamaCare website, to deny service to users and perhaps overload and crash the system,” reads the program’s grammar- and spelling-challenged “about” screen. “You can open as many copies of this program as you want. Each copy opens multiple links to the site.”
“ObamaCare is an affront to the Constitutional rights of the people,” it adds. “We have the right to civil disobedience!”
Marc Eisenbarth, research manager at the DDoS defense firm Arbor Networks says that the DDoS attack tool has been used in the past to attack perceived political wrongs.
“This application continues a trend Arbor is seeing with denial-of-service attacks being used as a means of retaliation against a policy, legal rulings or government actions,” said Eisenbarth.
Some online news sites have talked about this attack tool being distributed by right wingers, and Congress held hearings this week and talked about the attacks, but there is not one mainstream news organization that seems to be interested. But they all continue to talk about the Healthcare.gov website not working as it should, and if it will be ready by the White House’s self imposed deadline of December 1, 2013.
And if you watch the attached video of the questioning of Roberta Stempfley, by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), they both are aware of the attacks, but neither mentions the website attack tool, “Destroy Obama Care!”. The Republican asking the questions obviously has the agenda of attacking the Affordable Care Act as all Republicans do, and it would not be in his best interests to mention that people on his side of the aisle are attacking it. And the DHS did not bring it up for obvious reasons of not wanting to advertise the attack tool.
A link to the attack tool “Destroy Obama Care!” was specifically omitted from this report for the same obvious reasons.