Hackers Claim Stolen DNA Data of Millions, Sold Online
A major cyber attack on 23andMe, a genetic testing company, resulted in hackers obtaining, publishing, and selling data for about 1 million individuals. The data breach was discovered when a database named “Ashkenazi DNA Data of Celebrities” appeared on dark web forums. This database contains information such as display names, sex, birth year, and details on users’ genetic ancestry results.
23andMe offers genetic testing services through which customers provide saliva samples to receive ancestry and genetic predisposition reports. The data being offered for sale allegedly contains DNA profiles of millions of people, including high-profile business leaders and famous families.
The hacker claims to offer data profiles in bulk, with prices ranging from $1 to $10 per account, and speculations suggest that up to 7 million accounts might be involved. Unverified claims also state that data from celebrities like Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk might be included in the breach.
Future Scams In The Works
Cybersecurity experts believe that the main value of this hack lies in the personal information that can be used in future scams. This stolen data, including names, addresses, and phone numbers, can be sold to scammers, who can craft targeted spam emails that appear more legitimate.
23andMe is working to address this issue and has stated that login credentials used in the hacking attempts were probably gathered from data leaked during incidents involving other online platforms. No indication of a security incident within 23andMe’s systems has been found.
As a precautionary measure, the company is requiring customers to reset their passwords and is encouraging the use of multi-factor authentication. If it is discovered that a customer’s data was accessed without their authorization, they will be notified with more information.