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FDA Warns DNA Sequencing Machines Could Be Hacked

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The Food and Drug Administration said that several of Illumina’s next-generation machines have a software vulnerability that could allow an unauthorized user to take control of the system remotely and alter settings or data.

Credit: Illumina

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned in a letter to healthcare providers that certain Illumina DNA-sequencing machines have a software vulnerability that could jeopardize patient data.

The agency cited a flaw that could enable unauthorized users to hijack the target system remotely and change settings or data.

There have been no reports of such exploitation, but it is possible that an attacker could alter a patient's clinical diagnosis or access sensitive genetic information.

Illumina, which dominates the genetic-sequencing market, says it has developed a patch for the bug and is crafting a permanent solution.

At least two other genetic testing firms, Veritas Genetics and MyHeritage, have experienced data breaches, and in both cases the companies said it did not appear genetic data itself was compromised.

From Bloomberg
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