404 errors, server issues, poor management: these are among the issues that the Obamacare website has suffered from since its launch. Now it might have another threat to add to the list: DDoS attacks.
There’s a politically-charged tool circulating around the ‘net called “Destroy Obama Care!” that claims its use would overload the Obamacare site. Here’s what the tool’s about page says:
“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 serivce [sic] to users and perhaps overload and crash the system. 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. We HAVE the right to CIVIL disobedience!”
Whether hacking a federal government website can be considered a form of civil disobedience is up for debate and is likely a premise that’s on very shaky footing at best from a legal standpoint, but here’s what Marc Eisenbarth, research manager at cyber security firm Arbor Networks, said about the use of DDoS attacks and its relationship with ideology.
“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.”
Before you freak out though, Eisenbarth also offered these calming words to those who have a stake in the success of the Affordable Care Act
“The request rate, the non-distributed attack architecture and many other limitations make this tool unlikely to succeed in affecting the availability of the healthcare.gov site,” he said. Eisenbarth also hasn’t seen any indications of “active use of this software.”