Because of the Patreon hack, an estimated 13.7 gigabytes of personal user data was leaked online. The renowned crowdfunding website has admitted a severe security crisis, stating that the dumped data contained passwords, donation records and personal information. Luckily, no credit card information was leaked.
No individual hacker or group has claimed responsibility for the security breach. Authorities are also baffled about the incident and the possible ulterior motives of the perpetrators. Some analysts claim that this might be a simple case of random online vandalism, done only to humiliate and cause harm to the company without any prospects of personal gain. This only makes it more unusual considering the website’s extensive security protocols.
Patreon founder and musician Jack Conte has also stated that the website’s security features were designed in such a manner that even a group of expert hackers would find them difficult to bypass.
“We protect our users’ passwords with a hashing scheme called ‘bcrypt’ and randomly salt each individual password,” said Conte.
He also pointed out how passwords seemed impossible to ‘decrypt’ because ‘bcrypt’ is non-reversible, meaning that no plain-text passwords are stored anywhere on Patreon servers. Conte reassured that passwords remain safely encrypted with a 2,048-bit RSA key, but also urged users to immediately change their login information, for extra security and caution.
Engineers and programmers at Patreon have worked tirelessly ever since the hack to strengthen security features and ensure a second breach remains highly unlikely. They have carried out a thorough analysis of the previous system vulnerabilities and have reassured users that their personal information is now safe.
“I’m highly confident that we’re doing everything in our power to minimize the impact on our users,” declared Conte.
Patreon stands out from other crowdfunding websites by allowing users to donate to artists, charities and causes on a regular, monthly basis, rather than through a one-off payment. Similar to other platforms, such as Kickstarter, Pateron allows for certain perks and rewards to be received with each donation. It makes revenue by taking in a 5% commission on all pledges.
The website launched in 2013 and has since become widely popular among video content creators on Youtube. Independent musician and artists have also raised funds for professional projects through the website. Patreon has never been the target of any controversy or any negative spotlight, making the reasons behind the hack even more difficult to grasp. Nonetheless, the site has upgraded its security measures and still maintains strong popularity among its users.
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