Seven months after it discovered, FamilySearch tells customers their private information has been breached • Graham Cluley | Boot Tech

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Earlier this month, the FamilySearch family tree web site introduced that hackers had damaged into its methods and stolen private information from its customers.

The positioning, which is run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (higher recognized to some as Mormons) and describes itself as “the world’s largest shared household tree,” knowledgeable customers affected through e mail on October 13, 2022 about their Knowledge Breach.

The e-mail begins:

Expensive Account Holder:

FamilySearch Worldwide, a Utah nonprofit company (“FSI”), has detected an unauthorized community intrusion that compromised the private information you beforehand offered. At the moment, there isn’t any indication that the info has been used or is probably going for use for fraudulent or different dangerous functions. The affected information didn’t embrace customers’ household tree information. We’re notifying you and others all over the world whose information might have been affected, even the place this isn’t legally required.

Sure, they’re notifying folks whose information might have been affected, “even when this isn’t a authorized requirement.”

That is good of them.

However wait, learn slightly extra…

“On March 23, 2022, we detected unauthorized entry to sure pc methods. We instantly notified federal regulation enforcement authorities in the US. We had been requested to maintain the incident confidential to guard the integrity of the investigation. This instruction was lifted on October 12, 2022.”

Umm… so hackers stole, amongst different information, customers’ full names, genders, e mail addresses, dates of start, postal addresses, telephone numbers (all helpful data that may be exploited by scammers) …however FamilySearch was requested to maintain it secret. it is.

However don’t worry…

The affected information didn’t embrace customers’ household tree information.

So your great-great-grandmother has nothing to fret about.

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FamilySearch says it might’t decide who hacked into its methods, however that US regulation enforcement authorities suspect the intrusion was “a part of a sample of state-sponsored cyberattacks focusing on organizations and governments all over the world that haven’t any intent to trigger hurt to individuals.

So there you may have it, nothing to fret about…

Which is okay, as a result of you should have a good time altering your identify, gender, date of start, and so forth.

However severely, should not affected customers have been knowledgeable earlier? Ought to regulation enforcement companies have the ability to take greater than half a yr to tell members of the general public that their private data could also be within the fingers of fraudsters and cybercriminals?

It seems that FamilySearch customers weren’t the one ones who had their information stolen. It seems that the identical hackers additionally attacked the homeowners of the family tree web site, the Mormon Church, stealing the private information of church members, staff, contractors, and associates.

Did you discover this text attention-grabbing? Follow Graham Cluley on Twitter to learn extra of the unique content material we publish.


Graham Cluley is an antivirus trade veteran who has labored for varied safety firms because the early Nineties, when he wrote the primary model of Dr Solomon’s Anti-Virus Toolkit for Home windows. He’s now an impartial safety analyst, seems repeatedly within the media and is a global public speaker as regards to pc safety, hackers and on-line privateness. Observe him on Twitter at @gcluleyor ship him an e mail.


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