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Obamacare Exchange Left Customer Info Vulnerable To ‘Exploitation’

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

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Washington state Obamacare exchange officials left customers’ personally identifiable information vulnerable to “exploitation” by people with malicious intentions, according to a new Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (IG) report.

The officials failed to adequately secure the exchange’s website and database, and didn’t perform a vulnerability scan as the federal government required. This jeopardized the personal information of up to 1.1 million individuals who applied for coverage.

“As a result, the vulnerabilities were collectively and, in some cases, individually significant and could have potentially compromised the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the marketplace,” the IG said. “In addition, without proper safeguards, systems were not protected from individuals and groups with malicious intent to obtain access in order to commit fraud, waste, or abuse or launch attacks against other computer systems and networks.”

The federal government gave Washington $23 million when the state opted to set up its own exchange rather than use the federal marketplace and Healthcare.gov. (RELATED: The 8 Obamacare Co-Ops Most Likely To Fail This Year)

Security and financial woes have plagued the state-run health exchanges since Affordable Care Act enrollment began in fall 2013. Half of the 23 state exchanges have shut down, and federal officials project more will implode by the end of the year.

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