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Old 10-01-2013, 05:12 PM   #421
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The Distributed Denial Of Service (DDOS) attacks are are a real pain in the @ss for just about every major web site in the world. The attacks are basically just producing traffic jams. Everybody likes really broken car analogies... So this gang of bored kid gets an unlimited supply of junk cars, and starts driving them. They've preplanned to abandon the cars on or around a certain off-ramp. Then they go get more cars...

http://www.networkworld.com/news/tec...os-273919.html

They take a lot of time to deal with. The thing is, the attacks are designed to look just like a real visitor to your web site. One that's a bit dim, and maybe has a dozen browser windows open at the same time, and keeps clicking on <Refresh>.... Defenses involve hardware, really pricy hardware, between the web server and the Internet.

Typically, a deep packet inspection filter looks at every incoming packet noting the 'state' that packet represents and the sending Internet address, and compares that against recent activity from the same address. If it sees an inappropriate 'state' ("SYNCronize? But I haven't sent you anything yet!") or lots and lots of repeated requests ("Send you the page? Again? You just asked for that 30 milliseconds ago!") it can mark that address as being naughty and ignore packets from there for a while.

The hottest new techniques involve cloud based filtering, where many of these deep packet inspection filters share information on IP addresses that show botnet-like behavior and try to block them in advance. That sort of works OK for right now. I don't believe the federal government is legally permitted to use this sort of service just yet, so they have to rely on running their own filtering service.

My former employer had a team of people working just to handle this junk, which seemed to spike every time we were in the news or releasing a new product. Bored script kiddies...
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Old 10-01-2013, 05:19 PM   #422
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My DS. (he's only 25 though)

In part because I am encouraging him to buy health insurance. It is really as much for my protection as his in that if he had a critical illness and a big hospital bill that I would ultimately ante up rather than have him go without the care he needs. Between you and me, because I have the means, I would pay for his health insurance if it came to that for my own protection (but don't tell him that).
I never thought about this one, but just so I don't lose my cold-hearted image, I'm going to tell my kids that if they decide to spend the extra $100 chasing tail instead of buying HI, I'll only help them with procedures to stabilize them enough to get them on a plane to Panama. Once there, I could afford to self insure (but don't tell them that)
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Old 10-01-2013, 05:24 PM   #423
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The Distributed Denial Of Service (DDOS) attacks are are a real pain in the @ss for just about every major web site in the world. The attacks are basically just producing traffic jams. Everybody likes really broken car analogies... So this gang of bored kid gets an unlimited supply of junk cars, and starts driving them. They've preplanned to abandon the cars on or around a certain off-ramp. Then they go get more cars...

http://www.networkworld.com/news/tec...os-273919.html

My former employer had a team of people working just to handle this junk, which seemed to spike every time we were in the news or releasing a new product. Bored script kiddies...
Thank you, nice reference. Agree with all your points. I've never had to deal with DDOS attacks directly, only DOS. These were typically caused by 'data security' doing penetration testing during core hours. Still a PIA to figure out.

I feel bad for the folks that 'are here till this is fixed'. That what I left behind, glad I was able to ER.

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Old 10-01-2013, 05:30 PM   #424
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While I don't pretend to understand all the nuances, of course DDOS attacks are well known. But there are some things sites can do to help protect themselves.
https://www.networkworld.com/news/te...os-273919.html

From what I understand, most issues with the Marketplace today were due to real volume rather than DDOS attack (or other hacks). Some have alleged fed Exchange system had no serious defense in place to address possible DDOS attack. I'm sure we'll see more written about this in the coming days/weeks.

In my case, I did eventually get past 'wait' screen this PM & made it to log-in. Unfortunately, it did not recognize my user ID nor PW. Will try again tomorrow- or next week.
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:33 PM   #425
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... Will try again tomorrow- or next week.
A wise choice. Within a short time the lookie-lous will have found something shiny and new to attract their attention, and the federal I.T. folks will have their filters in place and load balancing working better.

It looks like there was some real traffic. 2.8 million unique visitors by 6 PM EDT. I recall that they expected to sell policies for some 7 million people over the next six months. Trying to do 40% of that business on the first day was probably a bit much. The local explainers/helpers who would set up policies face to face (no Intertubes needed) had no customers all morning. Quiet...

No rush. I have a pretty good idea of the prices, and subsidy eligibility for my family (none...). I'll probably sign up in November. They're not going to run out of insurance policies. Really.
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:47 PM   #426
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My main interest in local Exchange plans was getting details about carrier networks. Local press articles suggest that my current carrier's coming network changes (cuts) would be showing up first in Exchange plans.
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:56 AM   #427
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Our state's exchange was down all day. Sometimes it would let me enter my info. but it would never take me to the available plans. That changed late this evening and shortly thereafter the site was taken down - hopefully for fixes.

Well, there's always tomorrow provided the fixes work.
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Old 10-02-2013, 01:10 AM   #428
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I logged into the Hawaii Insurance Connector, which as Sept 30 was suppose to go live and let me compare insurance plans on Oct 1. After spending 30 minutes looking in vain, for sort of important stuff like what plans were available and what the cost were I gave up. Despite the existence of a blog on the site. The turkey's didn't 't have the common curtsey of pointing out that oh prices won't be available until later.

I filled out an application,which looked like was taken directly from printed version.
I filled out one correctly. the other one I just entered a 12 digit phone no error checking was performed but the system accepted my application. If I want to apply for a subsidy I have to print out a different form and fill it out by hand and mail it in.

I have spent enough time around software and web development to know pre alpha software when I see it .
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:11 AM   #429
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It appears that people are using the sites, in large part, to get information about available plans. To get that info under the present configurations apparently requires a lot of logins and interaction with the servers, which obviously uses a lot of capacity. It would probably have been better to make the info available in a separate "flat" site or at least prior to login/user data entry, with all this interaction reserved for people ready to enter data and make the leap.

Well, we can't expect it to work correctly on day one. Who could have known that a lot of people might log on to these sites, or what the data sharing requirements would be?
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:06 AM   #430
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Well, we can't expect it to work correctly on day one. Who could have known that a lot of people might log on to these sites, or what the data sharing requirements would be?
Why can't we expect it to work on day one? They knew this day was coming. Where was the stress testing? Where was the critical design review?

"Who could have know that a lot of people might log on?" Uhhhh...I did! They been telling us about the "millions of uninsured" for a few years...what? they thought nobody would be checking this out?

Or are we expecting too much to expect a 'business' approach to this?
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:25 AM   #431
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While I don't pretend to understand all the nuances, of course DDOS attacks are well known. But there are some things sites can do to help protect themselves.
https://www.networkworld.com/news/te...os-273919.html

From what I understand, most issues with the Marketplace today were due to real volume rather than DDOS attack (or other hacks). Some have alleged fed Exchange system had no serious defense in place to address possible DDOS attack. I'm sure we'll see more written about this in the coming days/weeks.

In my case, I did eventually get past 'wait' screen this PM & made it to log-in. Unfortunately, it did not recognize my user ID nor PW. Will try again tomorrow- or next week.
I was trying to use the site yesterday, it's very clear to me that the problems aren't related to volume. The site just didn't work. bugs. For example, not loading the signup form correctly. This is simple stuff. This made the volume worse, as people try and retry to get past the bugs. The sites just weren't ready for prime time.
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:35 AM   #432
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I was trying to use the site yesterday, it's very clear to me that the problems aren't related to volume. The site just didn't work. bugs. For example, not loading the signup form correctly. This is simple stuff. This made the volume worse, as people try and retry to get past the bugs. The sites just weren't ready for prime time.
I got to the registration page that asked for my answers to three security questions but the dropdown menus for the questions were blank and I could go no farther. I will try again later.
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:45 AM   #433
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I got to the registration page that asked for my answers to three security questions but the dropdown menus for the questions were blank and I could go no farther. I will try again later.
I got the blank security questions too, using Chrome on a Mac. Firefox rendered them correctly, but then errored off trying to get a user account.
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:54 AM   #434
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I got the blank security questions too, using Chrome on a Mac. Firefox rendered them correctly, but then errored off trying to get a user account.
I was using Chrome on a Windows 7 netbook. Maybe I'll try Explorer on a Windows 8 today. Or DH's Mac with whatever browser he uses .
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:59 AM   #435
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I can't get through the security questions using either Safari or Chrome. Not problem there using Firefox, but the process still abends.
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:48 PM   #436
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I haven't even made a single page hit on any of the sites. I figured until you all (my beta testers:-) give me the all clear, I'll just stay out of the way!
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:07 PM   #437
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Maybe things will settle down on the weekend when all the folks at w*rk aren't accessing the Marketplace
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:13 PM   #438
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Maybe things will settle down on the weekend when all the folks at w*rk aren't accessing the Marketplace
Probably.

I'm learning from these discussions. I am not currently affected but it wouldn't surprise me if I were down the road.
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:13 PM   #439
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I can't get through the security questions using either Safari or Chrome. Not problem there using Firefox, but the process still abends.
"Abend"... there's an old word from my mainframe programming days!

The *one* time I was able to get through it asked me security questions and asked me three that were relevant (and I knew the answers to) and bizarre fourth one, claiming that I had taken out a veterinary care insurance plan in the last two years, and asked for the name of the pet. Uh, no. I never bought one of those. So I entered "none of the above" and I failed my own identity test.

And the thing is, the church council is holding a special meeting on October 8 to discuss what health insurance, if any, it will offer to us. (The churchwide insurance plan requires them to decide by October 14.) We decided to wait until after the exchanges were open so we could see all the plans there, figure out cost and coverage there, and see if we'd be better off if they elected not to offer us insurance (and instead give us some grossed-up cash to pay the approximate subsidized premium and the loss of some subsidy and tax breaks from the extra cash).

But if we can't get in to look at the possibilities, we're pretty much stuck and we have to commit to an uninformed decision one way or another (which could cost us a lot more than is necessary in direct premium costs or reduced salary). So yes, I'm a little irritated when some people say "you have until December 15, there's no rush!" No, for us, there pretty much *is*.
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:37 PM   #440
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"Abend"... there's an old word from my mainframe programming days!
Have I terminally dated myself?

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The *one* time I was able to get through it asked me security questions and asked me three that were relevant (and I knew the answers to) and bizarre fourth one, claiming that I had taken out a veterinary care insurance plan in the last two years, and asked for the name of the pet. Uh, no. I never bought one of those. So I entered "none of the above" and I failed my own identity test.

And the thing is, the church council is holding a special meeting on October 8 to discuss what health insurance, if any, it will offer to us. (The churchwide insurance plan requires them to decide by October 14.) We decided to wait until after the exchanges were open so we could see all the plans there, figure out cost and coverage there, and see if we'd be better off if they elected not to offer us insurance (and instead give us some grossed-up cash to pay the approximate subsidized premium and the loss of some subsidy and tax breaks from the extra cash).

But if we can't get in to look at the possibilities, we're pretty much stuck and we have to commit to an uninformed decision one way or another (which could cost us a lot more than is necessary in direct premium costs or reduced salary). So yes, I'm a little irritated when some people say "you have until December 15, there's no rush!" No, for us, there pretty much *is*.
One thing that may help a bit. This is a listing of each plan offered in the federal exchanges. No plan details, and the pricing is just for a couple of clip levels, but for Florida it helped locate plan details and pricing info at the insurers websites. https://www.healthcare.gov/health-plan-information/

If course, if your objective is to get subsidized coverage on the exchange you will have fewer choices.
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