MyHeritage DNA testing service says breach affected 92M users' data

MyHeritage DNA testing service says breach affected 92M users’ data



Data breaches are by no means enjoyable, however they are often particularly troubling after they occur on platforms with entry to supersensitive data — like your DNA. 

On Monday, MyHeritage, a platform that gives DNA testing and family tree providers, discovered it had been breached, after a safety researcher reported discovering a file that contained e mail addresses and hashed passwords on a personal server. 

The Israeli-based firm’s data safety crew reviewed the file and confirmed the data was from MyHeritage. It contains the e-mail addresses and hashed passwords of the greater than 92 million customers who signed up for the platform as much as Oct. 26, 2017, which was the date of the breach, in keeping with a statement from MyHeritage.  

The firm mentioned it would not retailer person passwords, and as an alternative shops a one-way hash of each password, during which the hash key’s totally different for each buyer. “This means that anyone gaining access to the hashed passwords does not have the actual passwords,” the corporate mentioned.

The safety researcher, whom MyHeritage did not identify, reported that the server did not comprise some other data associated to the corporate. The firm mentioned there’s no proof that the data was ever improperly used. Since the date of the breach, MyHeritage mentioned, “we have not seen any activity indicating that any MyHeritage accounts had been compromised.”

MyHeritage mentioned it believes the breach was restricted to person e mail addresses, and that it has no cause to imagine some other techniques have been compromised. Credit card data is not saved on MyHeritage, it mentioned, however is as an alternative saved on “trusted third-party billing providers” like BlueSnap and PayPal.

As for delicate DNA data and household tree data, MyHeritage says that data is saved on separate techniques from those that retailer e mail addresses, “and they include added layers of security. We have no reason to believe those systems have been compromised,” the corporate mentioned.

MyHeritage recommends customers change their passwords and mentioned they need to benefit from a two-factor authentication function the corporate plans to launch quickly. MyHeritage mentioned it is arrange an Information Security Incident Response Team to analyze the breach. It’s additionally working with an unbiased cybersecurity agency, which can conduct critiques to find out the scope of the breach and supply ideas on stopping one thing like this from occurring once more.

As DNA and family tree platforms change into extra common, privateness issues will undoubtedly additionally rise. Current well being privateness legal guidelines outdate platforms like 23andMe and, and due to this fact don’t adequately protect genetic privacy. Still, DNA websites might be promising for the way forward for medication. The National Institutes of Health kicked off its All of Us venture final month, which seems to be to faucet genetic data to “uncover paths toward delivering precision medicine.” 

The platforms are additionally being utilized in one other space: regulation enforcement. In April, open-source family tree website GEDmatch was credited with serving to catch the Golden State Killer suspect. GEDmatch’s co-founder mentioned on the time that he did not know his website’s providers have been getting used to pursue the killer, and he mentioned the corporate would not give out data. That similar database was utilized in May to identify the suspect in a 1987 homicide.

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