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Monday, January 15, 2024

23andMe: hacking a web based DNA testing service

In relation to private knowledge, there are few issues as delicate as our DNA. As a result of DNA is the distinctive code that defines all of our bodily attributes and extra. So the hacking of on-line DNA testing service 23andMe is especially regarding.

What’s 23andMe?

23andMe gives a DNA profiling and matching service, permitting clients to mail a pattern of saliva for testing. 23andMe then assessments the pattern to create a genetic profile and evaluate it towards different samples of their database. 

Customers are given a report that particulars their genetic heritage, an understanding of their ancestry and a few indications of genetic predispositions.

What occurred?

In response to 23andMe, hackers had been capable of break into their system. The attackers used a method referred to as ‘credential stuffing’ to compromise hundreds of person accounts and to obtain all of their delicate knowledge.

23andMe later confirmed that greater than 100,000 accounts had been damaged into. The stolen info contains full names, usernames, profile pictures, intercourse, date of beginning, genetic ancestry outcomes, and geographical location for every person account.

The hackers behind the assault later provided the stolen info on the market for as little as $1 every.

What’s credential stuffing?

Hackers often purchase and promote lists of stolen usernames and passwords. Criminals can then attempt to log into different web sites utilizing these credentials.

The method is named ‘stuffing’ as a result of the hackers create scripts to check hundreds of credentials robotically, inside a matter of hours. After they work, the credentials are recorded, permitting the hackers to come back again later and steal no matter knowledge they’ll.

Who’s accountable for the 23andMe assault?

The truth is that credential stuffing assaults solely work for one purpose – folks reusing the identical passwords for a number of on-line accounts. If the compromised 23andMe accounts had been secured with a novel password, the credential stuffing assault wouldn’t have labored.

This incident underscores the significance of utilizing distinctive passwords for each on-line account – in any other case your most delicate, private knowledge could also be stolen and offered. Clearly creating and memorizing sturdy, distinctive passwords could be troublesome, so we advocate utilizing a password supervisor to simplify the method.

What can we study from the 23andMe assault?

Except for the hazards of reusing passwords, there are a couple of different components to think about from this occasion. First, when utilizing or sharing probably the most delicate of non-public info, you have to be positive the net service is safe. If 23andMe had used two-factor authentication to guard person accounts, it’s unlikely {that a} credential stuffing would work.

Second, customers should make a worth judgement. Is the knowledge produced by a service like 23andMe definitely worth the danger of potential publicity? This can be a very troublesome determination – and one that may solely be made by you.

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