Details belonging to users of the Israeli genealogy and DNA testing service MyHeritage were found on an internet file containing the email addresses and hashed passwords of more than 92 million of its users.

MyHeritage became aware of the incident after a security researcher contacted the company’s CISO with “a file named myheritage containing email addresses and hashed passwords, on a private server outside of MyHeritage,” the release read. According to the researcher, no other data was discovered on the server.

MyHeritage does not believe any other user data is involved in this breach, however, the company is forcing a password reset for all users. The details of customers DNA is stored on IT systems that are totally separate from its user database, and the company claims that use passwords were hashed. However, that all depends on the strength of the hashing routine used to obscure user passwords.

Omer Deutsch, MyHeritage’s CISO claims, “MyHeritage does not store user passwords, but rather a one-way hash of each password, in which the hash key differs for each customer. This means that anyone gaining access to the hashed passwords does not have the actual passwords.”

The file containing the email addresses and hashed passwords included details belonging to 92,283,889 accounts who were created on MyHeritage’s website up to and including Oct. 26, 217, the date of the breach.

The company is apparently expediting work involving implementing two-factor authentication which the company claims, “will allow users interested in taking advantage of it, to authenticate themselves using a mobile device in addition to a password, which will further harden their MyHeritage accounts against illegitimate access,”.


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