Federal officials confirmed yesterday that an information security breach of a Healthcare.gov server occurred late last month. The malware infection intended to launch denial-of-service attacks on other websites. Fortunately, the malware infiltrated a test server that contained no consumer data nor did it appear to target the website specifically.
According to Fox News sources, the server was not protected with the typical security measures—firewalls or antivirus software—an oversight the Health and Human Services department promises to correct in the future as they commit to further strengthen security measures.
It is not known yet how the malware penetrated the server, but following these steps can help you avoid malware threats:
- Malware is often sent as an email attachment or link. Don’t open any attachment or click on any links unless you know the sender and are expecting the attachment.
- Downloading a program from a website that you don’t know can sometimes get you more than you bargained for. Check with your IT support team before downloading any new program.
- Don’t be misled by messages that warn you of an immediate threat to your computer’s security and urge you to click on a link. These are almost always false and will usually install malware on your system. When in doubt, check with IT Support.
- Website special offers and promotions that seem too good to be true almost always are. Clicking on one of these can automatically install malware without you even knowing.
Marlia Fontaine-Weisse is the Content Manager for Preparis.