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The Security Risks in Digitized DNA

Katy, TX

In recent years, direct-to-consumer DNA testing services have gained popularity. The digitization of DNA has the benefit of uncovering ancestry information and can have a significant positive impact on science and medical research. For instance, it can aid in the discovery of a cure for a fatal disease.

DNA, computer, code, 0, 1
DNA Digitization

It is necessary to store DNA in a database in order to digitize it. The solving of a criminal cold case by matching a consumer DNA database with a police database is another example of how digitized DNA can be used.

As a result of the addition of digitized DNA, hackers have another target to exploit, opening up a whole new frontier for cybersecurity professionals. Digitizing DNA has significant implications. Here are some potential security risks:

  • Digital representations of genes could be used to make biological weapons.

  • The vulnerabilities in computers can allow hackers to compromise devices, stalling critical drug production.

  • Scientists have demonstrated the possibility of fabricating DNA evidence. They created blood and saliva samples containing DNA from a person other than the donors.

  • It is possible to plant stolen DNA in order to incriminate someone.

CS, DNA, dna, coding, analysis
DNA Analysis

Computers make editing and writing DNA sequences almost as easy as manipulating text documents and it can be done with malicious intent. Many people don't consider this when applying for such services. It is important to remember that no matter how secure the organization is, nobody is completely risk-free. If breached, genetic data may be sold to hackers without your consent, or characteristic data may be used to access your online data and accounts.

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