EXCLUSIVE: Possible ties to Healthcare.gov, Belorussian firm discovered on software development sites

A week ago, Bill Gertz of the Washington Free Beacon reported that U.S. intelligence officials had uncovered evidence that the troubled Healthcare.gov site was developed, in part, by a firm based in Belarus.

U.S. intelligence agencies last week urged the Obama administration to check its new healthcare network for malicious software after learning that developers linked to the Belarus government helped produce the website, raising fresh concerns that private data posted by millions of Americans will be compromised.

The firm, called EPAM, has offices around the world, but is headquartered in Belarus.

Officials disclosed the software compromise last week after the discovery in early January of statements by Belarusian official Valery Tsepkalo, director of the government-backed High-Technology Park (HTP) in Minsk.

Tsepkalo told a Russian radio station in an interview broadcast last summer that HHS is “one of our clients,” and that “we are helping Obama complete his insurance reform.”

“Our programmers wrote the program that appears on the monitors in all hospitals and all insurance companies—they will see the full profile of the given patient,” Tsepkalo said June 25 on Voice of Russia Radio.

A week later, the intelligence report had been “recalled” and the Obama administration issued denials that a Belarusian firm had been involved in development of the website.

The recall of the intelligence report, which was produced by the CIA-based Open Source Center, has raised questions about the politicization of intelligence—the suppression or skewing of intelligence to conform to policy prescriptions.

DNI spokesman Shawn Turner, in a statement, denied that the withdrawal of the report was based on political motives… Turner said the Open Source Center circulated its report on Obamacare software Jan. 29 under the title “United States’ Affordable Care Act Software – Cyber Attack Target.” … According to Turner, the report was not reviewed by intelligence experts and did not meet “tradecraft standards,” including certain pre-publication reviews.

HHS, its Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that helped set up the system, and CGI Federal so far have declined to provide details on [all of the] contractors involved in Healthcare.gov.

…The fears of cyber attack are compounded by the anti-U.S. stance of the Minsk government and an incident in February 2013 when large amounts of U.S. Internet data were hijacked and rerouted to Belarus where it was sifted for intelligence.

For those who speak Russian, you can find the complete 40-minute interview with Mr. Tsepkalo here. During the interview, Mr. Tsepkalo proudly names the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a key customer, adding he’s helping Obama to reform American healthcare.

Answering the interviewer’s question, he further adds, the money is very, very good (while smirking). At around 16:00, Mr. Tsepkalo also names some of his other U.S. customers. Among them are CitiBank and a new customer for him, NYSE.

So, let’s summarize what we have learned. CGI Federal had allegedly subcontracted part of the software development to a Belorussian company called EPAM, which is a part of Belorussian High Technology Park, which is run by Lukashenko’s advisor and former Belorussian Ambassador to the United States, Tsepkalo.

Is there any independent confirmation of ties between EPAM and HHS?

Possibly. Around the time that Healthcare.gov was being unveiled a software developer, who attempted to keep his name hidden, asked a series of technical questions on a popular software site called StackOverflow. Using the alias “gstackoverflow2”, the developer visited a variety of such sites and posted questions regarding testing procedures for a Java framework.

Coincidence 1. The software deployment mentioned in the questions specifies both EPAM and HHS:

Coincidence 2. Though the user asks questions in — and much of the code is written in — English, the user’s real name may have been inadvertently exposed in the files he uploaded to ask questions.

Nikolay Tkachev appears to be the name of someone of Ukrainian or Belorussian descent.

Coincidence 3. The timing of the questions corresponds to a great deal of rushed work before, during and after the horrific launch of Healthcare.gov.

To be fair to EPAM, it has officially denied any involvement with HHS, despite the claims in Belarus.

EPAM Systems, Inc., releases an official statement, that contrary to recent online blog posts issued by various outlets, EPAM has never been involved in software development for the Healthcare.gov website or any Affordable Care Act related engagements. Any claims to the contrary are completely false.

However, that statement came before these particular leads were uncovered.

Therefore, I will formally submit the following questions to EPAM and HHS:

1. Did someone named “Nikolay Tkachev” and/or someone employing the alias gstackoverflow2 on the aforementioned websites ever work for EPAM?

2. If so, did the individual(s) work on any software for the Department of Health and Human Services, state exchanges, or other systems or platforms related to Obamacare?

3. If not, what do the modules marked epam.hhs represent? Who is the customer?

I’ll be sending these to EPAM for their review and will let you know what I hear.

Doug Ross @ Journal

With all eyes on Putin during Sochi Olympics, Russian leader builds closer ties to terror regime in Iran.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (2nd L) shakes hands with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani (L) during a meeting at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Bishkek, September 13, 2013. (REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin)

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (2nd L) shakes hands with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani (L) during a meeting at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Bishkek last Fall. (REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin)

(Washington, D.C.) – In October, Forbes magazine named Russian President Vladimir Putin “the world’s most powerful person.” 

Now, with the Olympics in Sochi underway, the eyes of the world are riveted on Russia and its leader, who have invested a record $ 51 billion in creating what they hope will prove a dazzling showcase to reassert Russian power and influence.

Putin is determined to use a string of missteps by President Obama — hesitation and vacillation in the Syria crisis, the Benghazi scandal, health care rollout fiasco, sky-high budget deficits, and Mr. Obama’s sinking poll numbers, to name a few — to reposition Russia as a major world leader in hopes of eventually eclipsing American power.

“I declare the 22nd Winter Olympic Games officially open,” Putin declared to a worldwide TV and Internet audience on Friday.

A Russian news service said Putin was “raising the curtain on an Olympic Games that started as his pet project and has become the crowning moment of his third term as president,” adding that “in front of a near-capacity crowd at the 40,000-seat Fisht Olympic Stadium and millions of TV viewers worldwide, the opening show drew on Russia’s rich musical and literary heritage, with a few nods to its Soviet past.

“Tonight we are writing a new page in Olympic history — these are the first-ever Olympic Games in the new Russia,” said International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, as he called on athletes “to live together with harmony, with tolerance and without any form of discrimination for whatever reason.”

Amidst these themes of global peace and harmony, however, Putin is simultaneously working hard to build closer ties with Iran, the world’s most Radical Islamic terrorist regime.

“Iran and Russia are negotiating an oil-for-goods swap worth $ 1.5 billion a month that would enable Iran to lift oil exports substantially, undermining Western sanctions that helped persuade Tehran in November to agree to a preliminary deal to curb its nuclear program,” Reuters recently reported. “Russian and Iranian sources close to the barter negotiations said final details were in discussion for a deal under which Russia would buy up to 500,000 barrels a day of Iranian oil in exchange for Russian equipment and goods.”

“Good progress is being made at the moment with strong chances of success,” said a Russian source. “We are discussing the details, and the date of signing a deal depends on those details.” The Kremlin declined comment.

Other signs of intensifying Russian-Iranian ties in recent years:

Iran, meanwhile, is:

Putin is also using the Olympics to strengthen ties with other world leaders. 

The Los Angeles Times reported that “Putin used the hours before the lavish opening ceremony for the Olympic Winter Games to hold court with world leaders who did attend and project an image of the globally influential chief of a resurgent Russia. Upon arrival in Sochi, where Western journalists have focused on fears of a terrorism attack and discomforts in the hastily constructed hotels and venues, Chinese President Xi Jinping congratulated Putin on his staging of the prestigious competition as evidence that ‘Russia is heading toward strength and prosperity.’ Xi also hailed Russian-Chinese cooperation on Syria and Iran – two foreign policy challenges that have pitted the once-rivalrous eastern giants against the three Western countries that are permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, preventing the American, British and French faction from securing sanctions on Damascus or Tehran…..Putin also received Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose crackdown on political opponents and public protest over the last year have alienated Turkey from its traditional allies in Europe and Washington. Putin seemed eager to cast Russia as an alternative diplomatic partner more respectful of Ankara’s right to decide its own domestic affairs.”

As I noted in December, “Vladmir Putin sees himself not so much as Russia’s president but as an old-time Czar for the modern age. All knowing. All powerful….Determined to expand his territory and grow his power and personal wealth. This is what makes him so dangerous.”

MORE RUSSIA AND IRAN HEADLINES:


Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

Larwyn’s Linx: Terror suspects have international ties, have been in the U.S. for a year

Send us tips! Bloggers: install a Larwyn’s Linx widget. Get real-time news, 24/7, at BadBlue.

Boston

Terror suspects have international ties, been in U.S. for a year: Blaze
Sunil Tripathi Information 4/19/2013: PunditPress
‘White Hat Suspect’ In Boston Bombings On Run, Other Dead: CBS Boston

DHS File: Saudi National “Linked to the Boston Bombing”: Nice Deb
Missing Brown Student: iOTW
Photo of 8 Year-Old Victim Martin Richard With Bomber: GWP

Gif of Bombing Suspect Fits Missing Brown Student Sunil Tripathi: Sooper
Billboard and previous surveillance image of Sunil Tripathi: Riehl
Boston Bomber Suspect Mike Mulugeta’s Twitter Account: Riehl

Nation

But My Plan Was PERFECT!: Wilson
The President’s Gun Tirade and You: Dossier
Biden: Obama ‘Already Lining Up… Additional Executive Actions’ for Guns: WS

Pelosi, Biden issue threats after Senate Gun Control Failure: Owens
Legal Immigration: What About Those that Followed the Law?: Foundry
FBI Releases Photos, Video of Boston Marathon Bombing Suspects: Breitbart

Pompeo to Baucus: If ObamaCare is a “train wreck,” blame yourself: Hot Air
“BREAKING: President Readying Executive Orders on Gun Control”: ProWis
Wicker Hired Ricin Suspect As Elvis Impersonator: Roll Call

Economy

McDonald’s Franchisee: ‘Obamacare will negatively hit us like nothing else’: Scoop
Health Insurance Actuaries In the Hot Seat On ‘Rate Shock’: KHN
Don’t raise or eliminate the cap: AEI

Scandal Central

Facelift John Kerry On Benghazi: ‘We’ve Got A Lot More Important Things To Move On To’: Hope
Joe Biden Invents Phony Gun Statistics — Because SHUT UP HATERS, That’s Why!: RSM
Gosnell Trial Witness: Baby Abortion Survivor Was ‘Swimming’ in Toilet ‘Trying to Get Out’: CNS

Media

All Your Gun Base Are Belong To Us: CJ
“It’s the end of the rule of law on immigration” Mark Levin interviews Steve King: Scoop
Predictable: Obama is Making His Talk At the Boston Memorial About Himself: iOTW

Ben Carson Silenced, Bill Ayers Given Podium: MB
CCRKBA to Piers Morgan: ‘Your plane is waiting’: CFP
Gosnell employee says she saw more than 10 babies breath before they were killed: Scoop

World

Obama Administration Snubs Thatcher Funeral: Foundry
Islam’s Collective Punishment of Christians: IPT
Pamela Geller’s Banned Synagogue Talk, April 14, 2013: Geller

Sci-Tech (courtesy BadBlue.com/Tech)

Stephen Hawking: So here’s how it all happened without God: CNet
Starburst Galaxy Could Illuminate Early Universe: NatGeo
What’s your obsolete tech really worth on eBay?: PCWorld

Cornucopia

Doolittle Raiders say this reunion will be last: ArmyTimes
The Most Deranged Sorority Girl Email You Will Ever Read (NSFW): Gawker
Elvis Has Left the Building: MOTUS

Image: PunditPress
Today’s Larwyn’s Linx sponsored by: Urgent: Support the Franklin Center’s Fight Against Fascism

QOTD: “We are the product of quantum fluctuations in the very early universe.

I certainly feel like the product of quantum fluctuations on many days of the week, don’t you?”–Dr. Steven Hawking

Doug Ross @ Journal

SAY, CAN WE AWARD OBAMA ANOTHER PEACE PRIZE? Egypt Wants Nuclear Weapons, Stronger Ties to Iran

Consider this reason #7,326 that Obama must be pink-slipped in November:

A poll of Egyptians conducted last month shows that they have increasingly positive views of Iran, believe that both Iran and Egypt should obtain nuclear weapons, and still trust their own military more than any other institution in Egypt.

The poll of 812 Egyptians, half of them women, was conducted in a series of in-person interviews by the firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and sponsored by the Israel Project, a pro-Israel advocacy organization with offices in Washington and Jerusalem. According to the poll, Iran is viewed favorably in Egypt, with 65 percent of those surveyed expressing support of the decision to renew Egypt-Iran relations and 61 percent expressing support of the Iranian nuclear project, versus 41 percent in August 2009.

…Iran’s deputy defense minister said recently that the Iranian regime is seeking more military cooperation with Egypt. “We are ready to help Egypt to build nuclear reactors and satellites,” he said on the occasion or Egyptian President Mohammed Morsy’s meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last month. Morsy’s office has said the two didn’t discuss military cooperation.

Eighty-seven percent of respondents want Egypt to have its own nuclear bomb.

Israel Project CEO Josh Block told The Cable that the statistics show the effect of Morsy’s outreach to Iran and the danger of regional proliferation of nuclear weapons if Iran is successful in obtaining a nuclear bomb.

What exactly is the “Obama Doctrine”? Mark Langfan’s theory is as good as any.


Doug Ross @ Journal