We previously reported on the unfortunate data breach suffered by 23andMe last month and its implications. We never imagined how horrible it could be.
According to an October 6, 2023, posting by Wired earlier that week, hackers involved with the 23andMe breach posted “an initial data sample on the platform BreachForums…claiming that it contained 1 million data points exclusively about Ashkenazi Jews…and starting selling 23andMe profiles for between $1 and $10 per account.”
Several days later, it was reported that “another user on BreachForums claimed to have the 23andMe data of 100,000 Chinese users.”
The implications of posting account information, including potential genetic information of users for political or hateful reasons is real and happening in real time. According to news reports, the war in Gaza “is stoking antisemitism in the U.S.” and across the world. Preliminary data from the Anti-Defamation League shows a 388% jump of antisemitic incidents in the U.S. since Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7, 2023.
If you are a 23andMe user, it is important to find out for your safety and well being whether your genetic data was compromised and is posted by extremist threat actors. The Electronic Frontier Foundation published an article, “What to Do if You’re Concerned About the 23andMe Breach” providing more information about the background of the breach, the selling of information, and what you can do to protect yourself further, including deleting your data.