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HomeBusinessAncestry data stolen by hackers - 6.9 million customers affected from 23andMe. What...

Ancestry data stolen by hackers – 6.9 million customers affected from 23andMe. What can they do with your DNA info?

Image Source: Walmart

Ancestry firm 23andMe (ME) reported that hackers gained access to the personal information of around 14,000 users, or 0.1% of all customers. The company provides DNA testing with the most comprehensive ancestry breakdown, personalized health insights, and more.

What can hackers do with stolen DNA? If stolen DNA is altered, it can be utilized to produce biological weapons since hackers can sell the information to be used in gene editing, which is the process of modifying DNA to produce lethal strains of bacteria and viruses. These illnesses and other genetically engineered pollutants have the ability to spread and contaminate water supplies, food production, and other biotech-dependent systems.

The business added that hackers had access to “a significant number of files containing profile information about other users’ ancestry” through those accounts. Later, the business acknowledged that 6.9 million users were impacted. Days after user data leaked online in October 2023, 23andMe, a genetic testing business, announced that it was forcing all of its users to change their passwords “out of caution.”

While acknowledging that hackers had acquired some user data on Friday, 23andMe refrained from referring to the event as a data breach. As to the company’s statement, the hackers gained access to “certain accounts” belonging to 23andMe users who used passwords that weren’t exclusive to the service. This is a typical tactic employed by hackers to breach victim accounts by using passwords that have been exposed in past data breaches.

Updated: November 6, 2023, 7:45 AM PST” Updated: November 6, 2023, 7:45 AM PST

Starting today, we are requiring all customers to utilize email 2-step verification (2SV) as an added layer of protection for their account. New customers will be automatically enrolled in email 2SV when they create their account. Existing customers who do not already use an authenticator app will also be automatically enrolled in email 2SV, and will receive an email containing their verification code at their next sign-in. You can read more on our blog post. Source:23andMe

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