Doug Bedell — July 22, 2020, 12:07 pm

Genealogy, Too, Can Be a Pursuit With Web Security Risks


You never know where computer security can run afoul. Consider Ancestry.com and Family Tree Maker genealogy software.

The ThreatPost blog reports that “A server containing information of users of a genealogy service has exposed the data of 60,000 users, putting them at risk for fraud, phishing and other cybercriminal activity.

“Research led by Avishai Efrat at WizCase has discovered the leak, which affected an open and unencrypted ElasticSearch server that belonged to Software MacKiev, according to a report posted online by Chase Williams, a web security expert at WizCase.

“Software MacKiev currently maintains the Family Tree Maker, or FTM, software, which in turn syncs user data of a widely-known family history search platform, Ancestry.com.The leak exposed a MacKiev server with 25 gigabytes of Ancestry user data and MacKiev Software user subscriptions, including information such as email addresses, user location, user support messages and technical data. Most of the users whose data was leaked appear to be U.S. residents, according to the report.

“The leaked data could have given cybercriminals and scammers access to user personal information, putting many people in great risk of having their credentials used against them,” according to a report posted online by Chase Williams, a web security expert at WizCase.

If you are doing genealogical research, there’s more in the post to give you jitters.

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