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23andMe distances itself from reports of hacked accounts of Jewish users | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker



Genomic company 23andMe required its customers to change their passwords Thursday in light of a reported hack.

However, the hack was not aimed at the entire data system of 23andMe but instead found success in hacking another website for its usernames and passwords and hacking into accounts on 23andMe that used the same login information. It particularly targeted Ashkenazi Jews, who have Jewish ancestry in Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania, Poland, and other countries in Western Europe. The original hacked website, or number of websites, has not been revealed.

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Some 999,999 users of 23andMe were affected with their name, sex, and ancestry posted on the dark web database titled “ashkenazi DNA Data of Celebrities,” per NBC News. The company will be reaching out to affected users.

Ashkenazi Jews are considered genetically distinct from other Europeans, as they are more genetically similar to Jewish populations. There are some 5 million people in the United States with this ancestry.

“After learning of suspicious activity, we immediately began an investigation and engaged the assistance of third-party forensic experts and notified law enforcement,” 23andMe wrote in a statement. “Out of caution, we are also requiring that all customers reset their passwords.”

This hack came amid the news that Hamas fired thousands of rockets and also sent dozens of fighters into Israel on Simchat Torah, a Jewish holiday celebrating the annual cycle of the Torah scroll reading. Some 2,500 have died in the conflict between Hamas and Israel.

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“Security and privacy are the highest priorities at 23andMe. We exceed industry data protection standards and have achieved three different ISO certifications to demonstrate the strength of our security program,” the company’s statement read. “We actively and routinely monitor and audit our systems to ensure that your data is protected. When we receive information through those processes or from other sources claiming customer data has been accessed by unauthorized individuals, we immediately investigate to validate whether this information is accurate.”

As a result of the hack, Google reports that searches for how to delete a 23andMe account have increased by 170%. Its stock has decreased over 5% since the reported hack but has been on a general decline all this year.

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