Home Technology 23andMe says hackers accessed ‘vital quantity’ of information about customers’ ancestry

23andMe says hackers accessed ‘vital quantity’ of information about customers’ ancestry

23andMe says hackers accessed ‘vital quantity’ of information about customers’ ancestry


Genetic testing firm 23andMe introduced on Friday that hackers accessed round 14,000 buyer accounts within the firm’s latest information breach.

In a brand new submitting with the U.S. Securities and Trade Fee revealed Friday, the corporate stated that, primarily based on its investigation into the incident, it had decided that hackers had accessed 0.1% of its buyer base. In line with the corporate’s most up-to-date annual earnings report, 23andMe has “greater than 14 million prospects worldwide,” which suggests 0.1% is round 14,000.

However the firm additionally stated that by accessing these accounts, the hackers had been additionally in a position to entry “a big variety of information containing profile details about different customers’ ancestry that such customers selected to share when opting in to 23andMe’s DNA Kinfolk characteristic.”

The corporate didn’t specify what that “vital quantity” of information is, nor what number of of those “different customers” had been impacted.

23andMe didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark, which included questions on these numbers.

In early October, 23andMe disclosed an incident through which hackers had stolen some customers’ information utilizing a standard approach often known as “credential stuffing,” whereby cybercriminals hack right into a sufferer’s account through the use of a identified password, maybe leaked due to an information breach on one other service.

The injury, nonetheless, didn’t cease with the purchasers who had their accounts accessed. 23andMe permits customers to choose right into a characteristic known as DNA Kinfolk. If a person opts-in to that characteristic, 23andMe shares a few of that person’s data with others. That signifies that by accessing one sufferer’s account, hackers had been additionally in a position to see the non-public information of individuals related to that preliminary sufferer.

23andMe stated within the submitting that for the preliminary 14,000 customers, the stolen information “typically included ancestry data, and, for a subset of these accounts, health-related data primarily based upon the person’s genetics.” For the opposite subset of customers, 23andMe solely stated that the hackers stole “profile data” after which posted unspecified “sure data” on-line.

TechCrunch analyzed the revealed units of stolen information by evaluating it to identified public family tree data, together with web sites revealed by hobbyists and genealogists. Though the units of information had been formatted in another way, they contained a number of the identical distinctive person and genetic data that matched family tree data revealed on-line years earlier.

The proprietor of 1 family tree web site, for which a few of their family members’ data was uncovered in 23andMe’s information breach, advised TechCrunch that they’ve about 5,000 family members found by 23andMe, and stated our “correlations would possibly take that under consideration.”

Information of the information breach surfaced on-line in October when hackers marketed the alleged information of 1 million customers of Jewish Ashkenazi descent and 100,000 Chinese language customers on a well known hacking discussion board. Roughly two weeks later, the identical hacker who marketed the preliminary stolen person information marketed the alleged data of 4 million extra folks. The hacker was making an attempt to promote the information of particular person victims for $1 to $10.

TechCrunch discovered that one other hacker on a special hacking discussion board had marketed much more allegedly stolen person information two months earlier than the commercial that was initially reported by information shops in October. In that first commercial, the hacker claimed to have 300 terabytes of stolen 23andMe person information, and requested for $50 million to promote the entire database, or between $1,000 and $10,000 for a subset of the information.

In response to the information breach, on October 10, 23andMe compelled customers to reset and alter their passwords and inspired them to activate multi-factor authentication. And on November 6, the corporate required all customers to make use of two-step verification, in line with the brand new submitting.

After the 23andMe breach, different DNA testing corporations Ancestry and MyHeritage began mandating two-factor authentication.


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