WH Website Has Security Snafu During Obama’s Cybersecurity Summit

AP Photo/Charles Dharapak
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

The White House website suffered security breaches this weekend at the same time President Obama was addressing a Stanford University cybersecurity summit, an ill-timed incident for an administration many see as languishing in the fight to protect the nation’s cyber institutions.

As The Verge reported, anyone who tried to open a secure HTTPS connection with WhiteHouse.gov on Friday was blasted with this message: “Your connection is not private.  Attackers might be trying to steal your information from www.whitehouse.gov (for example, passwords, messages, or credit cards.)”

“The error seems to be coming from a Common Name mismatch, essentially a misconfiguration that made the White House’s certificate just suspicious enough to set off Chrome’s alarms,” suggested The Verge, referring to the popular Google Chrome web browser.  “As a result, Chrome spent the day blasting out a warning not to trust the White House. Awkward!”

Also awkward: HealthCare.gov went down again on Saturday, with an enrollment deadline looming on Sunday. The International Business Times received complaints that users in states like Pennsylvania and Oregon were seeing an error message that said their applications on HealthCare.gov could not be processed because their income could not be verified.  The Department of Health and Human Services reported the problem was resolved around 10:30 PM Eastern time on Saturday night, about six hours after the first complaints were received.