Is 23andMe a Cybersecurity Nightmare? Protecting Your Genetic Data  - STG

Is 23andMe a Cybersecurity Nightmare? Protecting Your Genetic Data 

Imagine submitting a fun DNA test to find out more information on your ancestry and genetic past. Only to have a data breach steal your most intimate genetic secrets. It makes you wonder, “Is 23andMe a cybersecurity nightmare?” Protecting your genetic data should be their number 1 priority, right?

Let’s get into it. 

In this post, we are delving into the shocking reality of the 23andMe cybersecurity breach. An issue that will make you rethink ever taking a DNA test.   

23andMe Data Leak and Details 

A hacker known as ‘Golem’ …. yep, Golem, recently leaked 4.1 million stolen 23andME genetic data profiles.  

This breach, which mainly impacted people in Great Britain and Germany, is massive.  

23andMe claims the breach was able to occur due to weak passwords and exposed credentials. The company maintains that there’s no evidence of a security incident from its IT systems.  

This breach may have only directly impacted a limited number of accounts, but those who opted into the ‘DNA Relatives’ feature, allowed attackers to scrape millions of individuals’ data.  

It has since come out that over 6.9 million accounts were accessed during this breach. Read more here

Looking deeper into this issue, the breach began with a post on a cybercrime forum offering 20 million pieces of data, describing it as ‘the most valuable data you’ll ever see.’ 

The compromised data includes names, usernames, profile photos, gender, birthdays, geographical locations, and genetic ancestry results.  

23andMe confirms this data is legitimate and that the threat actors used exposed credentials from other breaches to access these accounts.  

Consequences of Cybersecurity Breaches

So, what’s the big deal?

Well, first, these leaks have already led to numerous lawsuits against 23andMe.  

People are concerned about the lack of information about the breach and whether the company is adequately protecting their data. It’s becoming a huge legal headache for them. 

Let’s talk about what you can do if you’re affected by such data breaches.  

Events like these are a wake-up call. First and foremost, you need to lock down your online activity. Always use strong, unique passwords for your accounts.

All it takes is the compromising of one account and cybercriminals can access all other accounts with the same credentials. 

Enable two-factor authentication whenever possible. And if you’ve shared your genetic data with companies like 23andMe, consider reviewing your privacy settings and limiting what you share. 

Finally, it’s important to stay informed about cybersecurity news and be cautious about who you trust with your sensitive information.  

It’s important to protect yourself from all angles and all risky online activity.  

The 23andMe data breach is a reminder that cybersecurity matters, even in the world of genetic testing… especially in the world of genetic testing.  

Check out our last video! ➡️ Don’t Fall for Phishing! Protect Your Business From These 5 Attacks

If you need help protecting your data for yourself or your business, feel free to set up a call with one of our expert technicians via the Calendly link below. We’d be happy to discuss solutions with you.

Click here to schedule a free 15-minute meeting with Stan Kats, our Founder and Chief Technologist.

STG IT Consulting Group proudly provides IT Services for Small to Medium Businesses in Greater Los Angeles. We’d love to see if we can help you too!

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