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No DNA data lost – but a future hack could have severe repercussions, security researchers warn

No DNA data has been lost as a result of a hack atgenealogy and DNA testing website MyHeritage that resulted in the leak of92,283,889 email addresses and hashed user passwords the company has claimed.

“Sensitive data such as family trees and DNA data are stored by MyHeritage on segregated systems, separate from those that store the email addresses, and they include added layers of security. We have no reason to believe those systems have been compromised,” the Israel-based company said.

The announcement came two days after the company was directed by a security researcher to a file named myheritage containing email addresses and hashed passwords, on a private server outside of MyHeritage. The hack appears to have happened on October 26, 2017.

MyHeritage said the password hash key differs for each customer; it is likely using a salt as a result; a unique value added to the password before hashing to make the hash more robust.

Gemalto CTO of Data Protection Jason Hart said: “Thisreinforces again that being breached is not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’. Perimeter defences are just what they are, first lines of defence. When those fail, the only way data can be protected is to encrypt it. It is especially important that sensitive personal data is always be encrypted. That way, if the data is stolen it is useless to the thieves.”

He added: “MyHeritage noted that it plans to add additional protective measures in the future. While it appears that MyHeritage hashed its passwords, this is a weak form of protection. Given today’s security climate,all online companies should have multi-factor authentication activated by default for all online accounts as well as using encryption and key management to secure sensitive data.”

“A Serious Wake Up Call”

Rashmi Knowles, EMEA Field CTO at Steve Madden Steven by Steve Madden Sensai Suede SlipOn Sandals qPCvUk9Sv
, told Computer Business Review: “While only email addresses were compromised, this should serve as a serious wake up call for all handlers of genetic data. If your password is stolen, it can be updated, but this isn’t the case with genetic information – you only have one genetic identity, so if this is stolen there are potentially much more serious consequences.”

He added: “But many people don’t think about this when applying for such services. No matter how secure the organisation, no one is completely risk-free, and if breached, genetic data could be sold on hackers without your consent, or the characteristic data it contains could be used to hijack your online accounts.”

“There’s even a possibility that hackers can amend or even delete genetic data in some cases, which could have serious implications for the victim and the level of healthcare or even health insurance they could access in the future.”

The breach comes weeks after police a DNA match on a publicly available genealogy website to catch the Golden State killer, a notorious serial killer.

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4.9 Based on 7 ratings
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Reviewed on 11/11/2015 , By Steeves
That ride from NYC to Woodbury Common was a great experience. I had a great time with my family, i would definitely do it next year.
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Reviewed on 10/27/2015 , By AM
Great tour! Great guide! Got to learn some fascinating stuff about NY which only insiders can tell you. A must do when you visit NY
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Reviewed on 10/26/2015 , By Julie Z.
Great tour. Only thing I would like to hear more about is anecdotal stories about the people who lived in the various parts of town we saw. Very good otherwise, thank you.
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Reviewed on 9/15/2015 , By janine b.
facile pour choisir, facile pour le paiement et très utile pour mes voyages: utilisé plusieurs fois, pas de mauvaise surprise!
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Reviewed on 8/9/2015 , By Hongmei D.
This bus is great. It is clean and comfortable. I want to catch it next time and recommend it to my friends.
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Reviewed on 8/4/2015 , By Qianqian Q.
very good. I love this time trip
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Reviewed on 2/16/2015 , By Stephen H.
Nice easy journey but get there early to ensure a seat and line up early on the return as it can get very busy. Retail village itself was very good, probably twice as big as the retail parks in Florida but all at a more leisurely pace. Food hall was very busy and this was the first week in January so plan ahead with someone looking for seats. When picking up your tickets at Madam Tussaud's don't wait in the queue on the left just approach the doorman and tell him/her that you are here to uplift tickets. Have a great time
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