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Kickstarter urges users to change passwords after website hacked

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Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014, 8:12 a.m.
 

The popular crowd-funding website Kickstarter urged users to change their passwords because someone hacked into accounts.

Hackers accessed no credit card data, according to a statement posted on Saturday on the company's website.

Customer data, including user names, email addresses, mailing addresses, phone numbers and passwords from two accounts, were compromised, the company stated.

“As a precaution, we strongly recommend that you change the password of your Kickstarter account, and other accounts where you use this password,” CEO Yancey Strickler wrote in the statement.

On the website, people pitch projects, set a funding goal and then ask for donations to meet the goal. If the goal isn't met, the project does not get funded.

The breach at Kickstarter occurs on the heels of high-profile hacks of Target and several hotel chains that put personal information of millions at risk.

Successful Kickstarter campaigns have funded several projects in Western Pennsylvania. Chef Kevin Sousa raised $310,225 from more than 2,000 donors to start Superior Motors, a restaurant planned for a former car dealership in Braddock. The Pittsburgh Symphony is raising money through Kickstarter to pay the costs of going to New York City to play at Carnegie Hall. The symphony has raised $21,228 of its $30,000 goal.

The symphony changed its password, reported no signs of hacking on its account and will continue its fundraising campaign, spokeswoman Louise Sciannameo wrote in an email.

Dave Rost, 50, of Shaler used Kickstarter to fund Readyaction, his company that sells mounts for smartphones. News of the security breach prompted Rost to change his Kickstarter password but likely won't change the way he uses the site or others.

“I have fun in my life by using Kickstarter, using Amazon, buying tickets online,” said Rost, who received a new credit card from Target because of its security issues in December. “If I had to stop and live like my dad, if I would have to go back three or four years and just use cash, I just couldn't do it.”

He said his father, 75, refuses to use his credit card online.

Law enforcement officials notified Kickstarter of the security breach on Wednesday. Kickstarter notified users on Saturday after securing the site and investigating.

“We're incredibly sorry that this happened. We set a very high bar for how we serve our community, and this incident is frustrating and upsetting,” Strickler wrote.

Aaron Aupperlee is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7986 or aaupperlee@tribweb.com.

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