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(Reuters)   US looks into cybersecurity attacks on the Obamacare website. So far, no one has managed to cripple the site as effectively as the people who designed it   (reuters.com) divider line 53
    More: Fail, obamacare, Michael McCaul  
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1436 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Nov 2013 at 9:43 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-11-15 09:44:55 AM  
stream1.gifsoup.com
 
2013-11-15 09:50:43 AM  
Can't break into my house if I burn it down first!
 
2013-11-15 09:52:51 AM  
Is it actually a design problem? Or a "millions of people trying to use it at once" problem? I probably should be paying more attention.
 
2013-11-15 09:56:22 AM  
ObamaCare should have just let the states use GeoCities or AOL instead.
 
2013-11-15 09:57:53 AM  

Hoboclown: Is it actually a design problem? Or a "millions of people trying to use it at once" problem? I probably should be paying more attention.


Same issue.

If the site is designed badly, it doesn't matter how much hardware is behind it.
 
2013-11-15 09:58:11 AM  
In this case.  A cyber attack may fix it.
 
2013-11-15 10:00:13 AM  
C'mon subby, its the thought that counts!
 
2013-11-15 10:01:38 AM  

Hoboclown: Is it actually a design problem? Or a "millions of people trying to use it at once" problem? I probably should be paying more attention.


Just spitballing here, but I think a website's security shouldn't be based on the claim "As long as not too many people don't try to use it at the same time."
 
2013-11-15 10:03:03 AM  
Don't know where that "not" came from.

/too early
 
2013-11-15 10:04:45 AM  
WTF is a "cybersecurity attack."

Cyber security is a thing, a noun, not an adjective modifying a verb.
Literacy fail.
 
2013-11-15 10:09:33 AM  

HotIgneous Intruder: WTF is a "cybersecurity attack."

Cyber security is a thing, a noun, not an adjective modifying a verb.
Literacy fail.


When Cyber Security Attacks!!
i230.photobucket.com
 
2013-11-15 10:18:56 AM  
Hoboclown:
Is it actually a design problem? Or a "millions of people trying to use it at once" problem? I probably should be paying more attention.

It's a design problem. Instead of millions, it was a "hundreds of people trying to use it at once" problem.

As some folks put it, it was performing a denial of service attack on itself.
 
2013-11-15 10:19:09 AM  
The Canadian contractors bankrolled by Rick Perry?
 
2013-11-15 10:23:13 AM  
Obama's legacy will not be the ACA. It will be his amazing ability to avoid responsibility for anything and everything that happened on his watch.


/Not so much teflon as unctuous.
 
2013-11-15 10:31:58 AM  

Hoboclown: Is it actually a design problem? Or a "millions of people trying to use it at once" problem? I probably should be paying more attention.


From yesterday's hearing I understand the problem is if more than 25,000 people try to use it it crashes spectacularly. In this particular instance, any number larger than 25,000 is effectively equivalent and cannot be quantified.

So, it could be millions or it could be 25,001, that one last jerk off being the one who crashed the site because he couldn't just wait his turn.

I have given up on trying to understand how this has failed so spectacularly. Extremely basic scalable design and Amazon's various cloud services could have solved nearly every problem with this abortion of a site.
 
2013-11-15 10:33:20 AM  
Why break it if it's already broke?

Isn't that sort of like hitting yourself in the face with a shovel while screaming "I deserve it!  I deserve it!" at the top of your lungs?
 
2013-11-15 10:40:37 AM  

Therion: The Canadian contractors bankrolled by Rick Perry?


s24.postimg.org
 
2013-11-15 10:44:45 AM  
Being a programmer in Montreal, I can tell you that CGI, the company that made the website, has a very bad reputation here as an employer.

There's a reason they are always able to under-bid the competition: their entire programming staff are all under 22. Not a gray hair to be found in that company.
 
2013-11-15 10:48:19 AM  

Franko: Being a programmer in Montreal, I can tell you that CGI, the company that made the website, has a very bad reputation here as an employer.

There's a reason they are always able to under-bid the competition: their entire programming staff are all under 22. Not a gray hair to be found in that company.


As someone in Ottawa the general consensus about CGI is very similar here too, they make Corel & Adobe look agile and adept.
 
2013-11-15 11:03:41 AM  

Franko: Being a programmer in Montreal, I can tell you that CGI, the company that made the website, has a very bad reputation here as an employer.

There's a reason they are always able to under-bid the competition: their entire programming staff are all under 22. Not a gray hair to be found in that company.


Aren't they the ones who built the failed Canadian long gun registry?  The one that went massively over budget?
 
2013-11-15 11:05:59 AM  

slykens1: I have given up on trying to understand how this has failed so spectacularly.


Agree.  It defies comprehension that basic website scalability management could cause all this trouble.

The simplest explanation is that some outside agency caused the problems in order to capitalize on the "failure of obamacare".

But that's obviously ridiculous because conservatives would never resort to trickery like that to acheive their aims.
 
2013-11-15 11:08:10 AM  

Superjew: slykens1: I have given up on trying to understand how this has failed so spectacularly.

Agree.  It defies comprehension that basic website scalability management could cause all this trouble.

The simplest explanation is that some outside agency caused the problems in order to capitalize on the "failure of obamacare".

But that's obviously ridiculous because conservatives would never resort to trickery like that to acheive their aims.


"Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity".

Seriously, you sound like the mirror image of Alex Jones.
 
2013-11-15 11:24:19 AM  

slykens1: Hoboclown: Is it actually a design problem? Or a "millions of people trying to use it at once" problem? I probably should be paying more attention.

From yesterday's hearing I understand the problem is if more than 25,000 people try to use it it crashes spectacularly. In this particular instance, any number larger than 25,000 is effectively equivalent and cannot be quantified.

So, it could be millions or it could be 25,001, that one last jerk off being the one who crashed the site because he couldn't just wait his turn.

I have given up on trying to understand how this has failed so spectacularly. Extremely basic scalable design and Amazon's various cloud services could have solved nearly every problem with this abortion of a site.


I wonder if the number is actually closer to 32,767.
 
2013-11-15 11:28:16 AM  
Hmm, I wonder what types of people are targeting that website...
 
2013-11-15 11:31:12 AM  

Hoboclown: Is it actually a design problem? Or a "millions of people trying to use it at once" problem? I probably should be paying more attention.


Design problem.
 
2013-11-15 11:41:09 AM  

Hoboclown


Is it actually a design problem? Or a "millions of people trying to use it at once" problem? I

So these are the desperate talking points libtards are relying on?
It was so popular it broke and the turrists got it?
 
2013-11-15 11:46:07 AM  

Hoboclown: Is it actually a design problem? Or a "millions of people trying to use it at once" problem? I probably should be paying more attention.


I seriously doubt the problem exists at all.  Everybody keeps talking about how farked the Obamacare website is, like its the cool thing to do, and I've yet to meet a single person who could not personally apply for health care on it.  Aside from the very first day, I've never had a problem accessing the site or applying.
 
2013-11-15 12:02:47 PM  
At some point, I am assuming that someone other than the Insurance Lobby will read and actually understand the AMA law.
Perhaps that person would step forward and IDK, answer a few questions.
 
2013-11-15 12:05:53 PM  
 
2013-11-15 12:09:47 PM  

dittybopper: "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity".

Seriously, you sound like the mirror image of Alex Jones.


That's just it, this can't be explained by stupidity.

And just to be clear, you are claiming that no Republicans tried their best to scuttle the ACA by any means necessary?
 
2013-11-15 12:13:41 PM  

Superjew: And just to be clear, you are claiming that no Republicans tried their best to scuttle the ACA by any means necessary?


No, its entirely coincidence that the states reporting problems are the same states who fought ACA tooth and nail.
 
2013-11-15 12:20:09 PM  

Superjew: dittybopper: "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity".

Seriously, you sound like the mirror image of Alex Jones.

That's just it, this can't be explained by stupidity.

And just to be clear, you are claiming that no Republicans tried their best to scuttle the ACA by any means necessary?


Bingo.  (sf. the Reptilian Gov. of Florida)  Politics can screw up major IT projects?  You don't say!
 
2013-11-15 12:25:38 PM  
After finally getting biatch slapped for shutting down the country, we are supposed to believe that the GOP has drawn the line at farking up the website?
This just keeps getting better and better.

WTF are these fools smoking, dropping, shooting, sumptin,,,
 
2013-11-15 12:27:24 PM  
Riiiight... Like there are any conservatives smart enough to turn on a computer without the help of a child.
 
2013-11-15 12:31:07 PM  
Alonjar:
No, its entirely coincidence that the states reporting problems are the same states who fought ACA tooth and nail.

Well, it would be a pretty astounding coincidence if it wasn't a flat-out lie.

Oregon ring a bell?

Maryland?
 
2013-11-15 12:34:43 PM  
It had to be a lowest cost contract, because that company that developed it is run by idiots and that is well-known in government contract circles.

//Or, conspiracy theorist number 2 was correct when they believed it was originally designed to fail. Mwahahahaha and all that stuff.
 
2013-11-15 12:36:25 PM  

Superjew: dittybopper: "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity".

Seriously, you sound like the mirror image of Alex Jones.

That's just it, this can't be explained by stupidity.

And just to be clear, you are claiming that no Republicans tried their best to scuttle the ACA by any means necessary?


That's not what I'm saying.

What I'm saying is that the final contracts for this project weren't let until after the Supreme Court ruled that the PPACA was constitutional.

That was in the summer of 2012.

So basically, they had less than a year and a half to design, write, test, and implement a very complex suite of computer software that tests against a bunch of databases in real time, and that for the most part have never been connected to the outside world.

Remember, it's not just the user interface, it's the added security necessary to keep things like your tax records secure, etc.  It's not a simple, run-of-the-mill ecommerce site.

If you had given me a project that complex I would have said "Two years, minimum".  Then you'd have been pleasantly surprised when I brought it in on time and mostly working as requested.

I think the real problem is that the contractors were given an unrealistically short deadline, and they accepted it, and then tried to do what was probably an impossible task given the time constraints.
 
2013-11-15 12:37:06 PM  

cirby: Alonjar:
No, its entirely coincidence that the states reporting problems are the same states who fought ACA tooth and nail.

Well, it would be a pretty astounding coincidence if it wasn't a flat-out lie.

Oregon ring a bell?

Maryland?


Oh?  You live in Maryland and cant access the site?
 
2013-11-15 12:38:55 PM  

dittybopper: Superjew: dittybopper: "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity".

Seriously, you sound like the mirror image of Alex Jones.

That's just it, this can't be explained by stupidity.

And just to be clear, you are claiming that no Republicans tried their best to scuttle the ACA by any means necessary?

That's not what I'm saying.

What I'm saying is that the final contracts for this project weren't let until after the Supreme Court ruled that the PPACA was constitutional.

That was in the summer of 2012.

So basically, they had less than a year and a half to design, write, test, and implement a very complex suite of computer software that tests against a bunch of databases in real time, and that for the most part have never been connected to the outside world.

Remember, it's not just the user interface, it's the added security necessary to keep things like your tax records secure, etc.  It's not a simple, run-of-the-mill ecommerce site.

If you had given me a project that complex I would have said "Two years, minimum".  Then you'd have been pleasantly surprised when I brought it in on time and mostly working as requested.

I think the real problem is that the contractors were given an unrealistically short deadline, and they accepted it, and then tried to do what was probably an impossible task given the time constraints.


So, you would not have gone open source?
 
2013-11-15 12:45:46 PM  
I am surprised they didnt use "hacking" as the reson the site sucks ass in the first place.
 
2013-11-15 12:53:24 PM  
So, a bunch of retards hired a bunch of retards to make a website and the website is potato.

cdn.meme.li
 
2013-11-15 12:54:02 PM  

Hoboclown: Is it actually a design problem? Or a "millions of people trying to use it at once" problem? I probably should be paying more attention.


Those are the same thing.

A well designed web site should be able to handle the expected level of traffic.  This is tricky for things like start-up companies that have no customers initially but might grow very quickly.  The Obamacare website doesn't have 'customers' so much as 'people who have to use it'.....presumably, part of the design should have included appropriate levels of load testing.
 
2013-11-15 01:18:48 PM  

Fark_Guy_Rob: Hoboclown: Is it actually a design problem? Or a "millions of people trying to use it at once" problem? I probably should be paying more attention.

Those are the same thing.

A well designed web site should be able to handle the expected level of traffic.  This is tricky for things like start-up companies that have no customers initially but might grow very quickly.  The Obamacare website doesn't have 'customers' so much as 'people who have to use it'.....presumably, part of the design should have included appropriate levels of load testing.


What little testing that was done clearly forecast this f*ck up.  And Sebelius ignored it. Which is why she should be fired. If they had come out and said we need another month(s) to fix code and loading issues, the PR hit they would have taken would have been miniscule to the shiatstorm they created by going live with a half baked project. Dems bed, lie in it they will.
 
2013-11-15 01:34:26 PM  
Small, tiny CSB to give those unfamiliar with the wild and woolly world of software development.

A few years back I was tasked with helping to implement a system that took personal data from our database, and transmitted it to another remote system run by a company we had contracted with to provide a "hosted" system.

So really, all I had to do was set up a simple script to make a file, and do an sftp transfer to the remote site.  No big deal, right?

So during the initial conference call, I ask "OK, what format would you like the data?", and they answer "Any format you want to transmit to us is fine".  So I say "Is a .csv file OK?".  "Absolutely, not a problem".  Me:  "OK, good, can you handle a file from a unix system?".  Them:  "Absolutely, not a problem".

Good, I've got some similar stuff that I've already written that I can quickly adapt.  So I take their file specification document and I build a temporary table that follows their specifications, and build up a script that fills it and then generates a .csv file.  A .csv file looks like this:

"AAAAA","BBBBB","CCCCC","DDDDD"

It's merely data enclosed in quotes and separated by commas.  It's a common format used when you're going from two different systems that may have incompatible data formats.

So I set up the encryption keys, send them their key via their manual sftp site, and we start sending them data, and a few days later I get an an e-mail asking if I could add a header to the file.  Sure, not a problem, so I add the line of code necessary.

Few days later, I get an e-mail asking if I could remove the commas that separate the data and replace them with pipes (The '|' character).

Well, OK, I guess so.  I make the change.

A week or so passes, and I get an e-mail "Could you remove the double quotes around the data?".

Ermm, yeah, but now it's not a .csv file at all.  It's a pipe delimited file which I would have been happy to provide if that's what you said you had needed in the first place. But whatever.  So I make the change.

Couple weeks go by.

"We're having trouble with the data you are sending us, our software can't see the carriage-return/linefeed sequence".  That's because it's unix data, which you said your system could handle with no problems, and it doesn't have a CR/LF, it's got a newline.  "We need it to have a CR/LF".

OK, fine.  I add a line to the shell script that gets run for this process to send the file through unix2dos before it gets transmitted.

Month goes by.  I don't hear anything, so I assume everything is going great.

Then I get a phone call asking me about what is in fields X, Y, and Z.  "Well, look at the headers.  I pull that data exactly as you specify in your documentation, and I even give the fields the same names you call them".

"But we need you to change the length of this field, because it's too long"

Well, maybe your farking documentation should show that!

So it ends up that it took at least a couple months longer than necessary to get that relatively minor project up and running when it should have taken maybe a week.  And that was just *MY* part of it.

So assuming that CGI and some of the other contractors were like the ones I dealt with, I could easily see this being more because of stupidity than malice.
 
2013-11-15 01:35:40 PM  

dittybopper: "But we need you to change the length of this field, because it's too long"

Well, maybe your farking documentation should show that!


I should point out that I explicitly made *ALL* the field lengths the same lengths as their documentation called for.
 
2013-11-15 02:14:29 PM  

dittybopper: Small, tiny CSB to give those unfamiliar with the wild and woolly world of software development.

A few years back I was tasked with helping to implement a system that took personal data from our database, and transmitted it to another remote system run by a company we had contracted with to provide a "hosted" system.

So really, all I had to do was set up a simple script to make a file, and do an sftp transfer to the remote site.  No big deal, right?

So during the initial conference call, I ask "OK, what format would you like the data?", and they answer "Any format you want to transmit to us is fine".  So I say "Is a .csv file OK?".  "Absolutely, not a problem".  Me:  "OK, good, can you handle a file from a unix system?".  Them:  "Absolutely, not a problem".

Good, I've got some similar stuff that I've already written that I can quickly adapt.  So I take their file specification document and I build a temporary table that follows their specifications, and build up a script that fills it and then generates a .csv file.  A .csv file looks like this:

"AAAAA","BBBBB","CCCCC","DDDDD"

It's merely data enclosed in quotes and separated by commas.  It's a common format used when you're going from two different systems that may have incompatible data formats.

So I set up the encryption keys, send them their key via their manual sftp site, and we start sending them data, and a few days later I get an an e-mail asking if I could add a header to the file.  Sure, not a problem, so I add the line of code necessary.

Few days later, I get an e-mail asking if I could remove the commas that separate the data and replace them with pipes (The '|' character).

Well, OK, I guess so.  I make the change.

A week or so passes, and I get an e-mail "Could you remove the double quotes around the data?".

Ermm, yeah, but now it's not a .csv file at all.  It's a pipe delimited file which I would have been happy to provide if that's what you said you had needed in the first place. But whatev ...


Yeah, this was pretty much every project I worked on when I was in the private sector. I wasn't even a programmer, but the project manager. Every time someone else saw the project, they wanted a minor tweak. Enough of those add up to major changes in scope. But deadlines can't change and budgets never increase.

In this case, I heard that a few congress critters were boasting on how they provided daily input. I can almost smell the catastrophic stupidity from here. And yes, across time.
 
2013-11-15 02:25:21 PM  

Hoboclown: Is it actually a design problem? Or a "millions of people trying to use it at once" problem? I probably should be paying more attention.


Problems everywhere. Incompetent design AND bad execution. Plus no overall-system testing (the back-end is way more complex than most e-commerce, it has to interface with insurers and with a "data hub" that combines IRS(income)/DHS(immigration)/SSA data).

From what I understand, many of the problems would have been there even with just one user, and most all of the problems if there were only two users.

To give a back-end example, it sends reports to insurers daily in a standard format, already used by e.g. big companies to process hires/open enrollments/etc. That's how insurers know who signed up for what. Those files are garbled (showing enroll/cancel/enroll/cancel for the same family, listing spouses as dependents, etc.)
 
2013-11-15 03:16:01 PM  

Hoboclown: Is it actually a design problem? Or a "millions of people trying to use it at once" problem? I probably should be paying more attention.


It's mostly terrible coding. Even at the non-peak hours (2 to 4 am) it was still largely broken until very recently. And initially, the insurance companies on the exchange were reporting that, even if they did receive the applications, they were filled with junk data and garbled nonsense.

//Still wondering if the firm hired to build the site had any significant republican backers that may have "wielded a little influence" to make sure the thing didn't go as planned..
 
2013-11-15 03:19:51 PM  
If only, Go Daddy, we would have a much nicer Welcome Page, eh?
 
2013-11-15 04:15:07 PM  

Somaticasual: Hoboclown: Is it actually a design problem? Or a "millions of people trying to use it at once" problem? I probably should be paying more attention.

It's mostly terrible coding. Even at the non-peak hours (2 to 4 am) it was still largely broken until very recently. And initially, the insurance companies on the exchange were reporting that, even if they did receive the applications, they were filled with junk data and garbled nonsense.

//Still wondering if the firm hired to build the site had any significant republican backers that may have "wielded a little influence" to make sure the thing didn't go as planned..


I seriously doubt it.   Given the very short time frame to implement a project this large, why would they need to bother?
 
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