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Hackers Go After Genome Data

While Genomics England announced Wednesday that it has sequenced 100,000 whole genomes, Naked Security, a part of Sophos, reports that the data generated is not housed at National Health Service data centers, but is instead on military servers.

The 100,000 Genomes Project was launched in late 2012 with the aim of bolstering genomic medicine in the UK, and the project leaders announced Wednesday that they had met their goal of sequencing 100,000 NHS patients' whole genomes. In the process, the project established 13 NHS Genomic Medicine Centers to support the project as well as an Illumina-run sequencing center, and an automated analysis pipeline.

But the Telegraph reports that hackers have been targeted the data generated by the project. It's now, it adds, being stored at Ministry of Defense site. Naked Security further notes that this comes on the heels of the 2017 WannaCry ransomware attack that disrupted a third of the NHS for days, costing some £92 million (US $117 million). Experts tell the Telegraph that medical information is now more valuable than financial information.

"None of the well-known viral attacks have succeeded in causing any dysfunction in Genomics England," Sir John Chisholm, the chair of Genomics England, tells the Telegraph.