DNA Website MyHeritage Hacked; 92 Million User Accounts Exposed

In an odd coincidence, earlier today we asked rhetorically "what could go wrong" if millions of Americans trust a DNA collecting company - in this case ancestry.com - with their genetic code. At almost the exact same time, Bloomberg reported that the Israeli-based consumer genealogy website, MyHeritage had been hacked, and that the email addresses and password information linked to more than 92 million user accounts have been "compromised."

According to MyHeritage, its security officer had received a message from a researcher who unearthed a file named “myheritage” containing email addresses and hashed passwords of 92,283,889 of its users on a private server outside the company.

“There has been no evidence that the data in the file was ever used by the perpetrators,” the company said in a statement late Monday, supposedly in an attempt to make its nearly 100 million users and customers feel comfortable.

It was not explicitly clear if any client "genetic material" had also been compromised as part of the security breach.

Like Ancestry.com and 23andMe, MyHeritage lets users submit their DNA, build family trees, search historical records and hunt for potential relatives. Founded in Israel in 2003, the site launched a service called MyHeritage DNA in 2016 that lets users send in a saliva sample for genetic analysis. The website currently has 96 million users of whom 1.4 million users have taken the DNA test.

In a blog post, MyHeritage said the breach took place on Oct. 26, 2017, and impacts users who signed up for an account through that date. Armed with that information, a hacker could access personal information such as the identity of family members. While the company said it is unlikely that they could easily access a user’s raw genetic information, that's precisely what one would expect them to say as the alternative is going out of business as its entire user base flees.

Still, while it wasn't certain whether or not the genetic data had been compromised, the company emphasized that DNA data is stored “on segregated systems and are separate from those that store the email addresses, and they include added layers of security.”

As Bloomberg adds, MyHeritage has set up a 24/7 support team to assist customers affected by the breach. It plans to hire an independent cybersecurity firm to investigate the incident and potentially beef up security. In the meantime, users were prudently advised to change their passwords.

Meanwhile, as consumer DNA testing has grown into a $99 million industry, questions about the security of users’ intimate data have increased as well. After investigators tracked down a suspect in the Golden State Killer case using a genealogy website that, like MyHeritage, allows users to upload raw genetic information, privacy concerns about shared DNA data have also surged. One thing is certain: more stories like the hack of Ancestry.com and MyHeritage are the surest way to ensure that the industry which allows naive customers to hand over their DNA to a 3rd party and pay for the privilege, shrinks from $99 million to 0 in a very short time frame.


beemasters johngaltfla Tue, 06/05/2018 - 20:48 Permalink

Knowing your long family tree is mostly just for fun fact (which anyone can do without). It doesn't add up to the value of your life or who you are as a person. To constantly seek to improve ourselves and help those around us would be more important than to understand if we're related to any serial killer/psychopath to justify our own inadequacies/mistakes.

In reply to by johngaltfla

WillyGroper MANvsMACHINE Wed, 06/06/2018 - 12:15 Permalink

why the hell did you choose replying to me for your disgusting post?  lemme guess...since it had nothing to do with mine you're nothing more than an insecure dicktard that just had to have his post w/i the first 50.  amirite?

does your world consist primarily of revolving around your dick?


your post is probably true...in that case, i hope you've had gorillions of spawn, found liable for support & your organs are harvested to keep your filthy spawn alive.

JHC when you think this place has devolved into the lowest common denominator, along comes the latest blue ribbon degenerate beating all previous records.

In reply to by MANvsMACHINE

SACRED-COW johngaltfla Tue, 06/05/2018 - 20:48 Permalink

Why are tertiary structures selfish? Because the amino acids are all wrapped up in themselves.


What did the snooty metacentric say to the telocentric? Two arms are better than one.


Morgan was very happy that his student Lillian Sampson discovered an attached female, but he had a glint in his eye when he discovered that his student Lillian Sampson was an unattached female.


Cell about to undergo mitosis to an interested geneticist: "I hope I have your divided attention"


What has four poles, two plates, a bunch of squiggley stuff and is purple? Meiotic grapes.


What do you call a Drosophila who likes to drink? A bar fly.


What did one Drosophila say to the other Drosophila? Your human is down!


How can you better understand genetics in cold weather? Put your codon!


Do you know why the geneticist went to dental school? He was looking for an oral high gene.


Why did the gene crossover? To get to the non sister homologue stupid!


Make like a melanogaster and buzz off!


What do you get when you cross a bridge with a bicycle? The other side.


What do you get when you cross a parrot with a lion? I don't know, but when it speaks you better listen.


A boy got a large gash on his arm and his sister (type AB) quickly gave him a blood transfusion from her blood to save him. Instead of feeling better, he started groaning loudly. What's the matter his sister asked? He replied: meiosis! (my "o" sis)


A boy was sitting, looking at epithelial cells on his big toe dividing, through an electron microscope his folks bought him for doing so well in genetics class. All of a sudden his sister came into the room, and being clumsy and offish walked on the foot he was looking at. His nerves being in good condition he felt, as well as saw this intrusion and cried out, "You're standing on my toe, sis!"


Why did the polyploid flower always get its own way? Because the diploid flower knew it was out numbered.


What do you call a 6-legged insect that can't speak? A mutant.


Roses are red, genes are blue, their mistakes are small and very rare, as long as you discount Newman's hair.


What ever happened to Gene? Oh, he moved to LA and hired a promoter and now he's a big operator. just last week he put an operon (opera on) in the Hollywood Bowl.


Where would one find genes retired from the human genetic pool? In an old folks genome.


Says he: "I can't help my behavior, it's in my genes"


Says she: " I don't care what's in your jeans, stay out of mine.


Q: How do you tell the difference between a male chromosome and a female chromosome?

A: Take down their genes (jeans)!


Q: How many zygotes does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: 2 n' 4 poles

In reply to by johngaltfla