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Massive Data Breach: 23andMe Hack Exposes Genetic Profiles of Millions


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Understanding the Recent 23andMe Data Breach

Understanding the Recent 23andMe Data Breach


Earlier this month, DNA testing company 23andMe experienced a cyberattack where the stolen genetic data of millions of people was shared on a hacker forum.

Hacker Leaks 23andMe Genetic Profiles

A hacker leaked 4.1 million stolen 23andMe genetic profiles to individuals in the UK and Germany on a hacking forum.

The stolen data included various information such as breed evaluation, phenotypic data, medical information, gender, age, photographs, identification data, and last login date.

23andMe claims that the data breach was not a hack of their systems, but rather a “credential stuffing” attack targeting individual users who had weak passwords or used credentials exposed in other data breaches.

Second Batch of Data Leaked

The same hacker, known as Golem, recently published a second batch of 23andMe customer data. This new leak contains information about people residing in the United Kingdom (including notable families) and Germany.

What Use is Your DNA to Hackers?

According to 23andMe, the actual genetic information was not taken in the breach. Instead, the attackers gained access to personal information and data about the geographic origin of users.

Cybersecurity specialist Professor Alan Woodward suggests that the main value of this hack lies in the personal information obtained, which can be used for fraudulent transactions or targeted spam messages.

While the genetic information itself may have value in the future, it is currently challenging to monetize. Woodward highlights the concern for biometric data like fingerprints, which cannot be changed.

Potential Implications

Commercial DNA tests not only reveal geographic ancestry but also provide insights into potential health conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, or male pattern baldness.

Woodward suggests that this information may become crucial for society or even insurance companies in the future. Additionally, these results could potentially sabotage someone’s career by highlighting health risks that may limit their working life.

Source: Metro

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