Genome researchers hit back at infosec bods’ ‘network vuln’ claims

Alexander J. Martin reports that there’s a response to a report of vulnerabilities previously noted on this site.

The Global Alliance for Genomics & Health has downplayed vulnerabilities found in its genome-sharing network by two Stanford researchers.

Carlos Bustamante and Suyash Shringarpure, postdoctoral scholars in genetics at Stanford, had raised concerns about The Beacon Project’s security in a paper which showed the triviality of re-identifying individuals whose data was held upon it.

However the Global Alliance for Genomics & Health (GA4GH), responsible for running the network, has said that re-identification of individuals is only possible in the “exceptional scenario” where an attacker already has access to their victims’ genome – or that of a close relative – and as such was not a vector for further malicious action.

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