We have published blog posts before on sharing genetic information and the risk associated with the disclosure of such sensitive information.

Unfortunately, our concerns have been realized. On Monday, October 9, 2023, 23andMe confirmed that its investigation into a data security incident involving customer profile information shared through its DNA Relatives feature “was compiled from individual 23andMe.com accounts without the account users’ authorization” by threat actors.

Although its investigation continues, 23andMe is “requiring that all customers reset their passwords and are encouraging the use of multi-factor authentication (MFA).”

The company recommends that its customers take action to keep their account and password secure. It recommends:

  • Confirm you have a strong password, one that is not easy to guess and that is unique to your 23andMe account. If you are not sure whether you have a strong password for your account, reset it.
  •  Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) on your 23andMe account.
  • Review its Privacy and Security Checkup page with additional information on how to keep your account secure.

We will follow this incident closely. In the meantime, if you or a family member has provided genetic information to 23andMe, you may wish to consider changing your password, telling your family members to do the same and follow the recommendations of 23andMe.