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'White hat' hacker discovers names of 'anonymous' volunteers of genome study in security drill
From: security curmudgeon <jericho () attrition org>
Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2013 11:39:09 -0600 (CST)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: InfoSec News <alerts () infosecnews org>


The Independent
17 JANUARY 2013

A former "white hat" hacker hired by banks to test their computer security 
has been able to discover the names of individuals who volunteered to take 
part in genome studies on the condition of anonymity.

Nearly 50 people who had agreed to have their genomes sequenced and placed 
on scientific databases provided that their names would not be used were 
identified by Yaniv Erlich as part of an exercise to test the 
vulnerability of personal data held in DNA libraries.

The revelation will prove embarrassing for organisations who have promoted 
the widespread use of genome sequencing in medical research. Last month, 
the Government announced a plan to sequence the genomes of 100,000 Britons 
to boost the discovery of new drugs and treatments.

Dr Erlich used computer algorithms to link DNA sequences, particularly of 
the male Y chromosome, with surnames and other personal data held on 
genealogy databases as part of a deliberate attempt to test the security 
of the ?anonymised? information held on genome databases.


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