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Report: Kickstarter.com user data breached

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Social fundraising platform Kickstarter.com suffered a data breach that exposed personal data of some users to hackers. On a corporate blog post, Kickstarter CEO Yancey Strickler said that on Wednesday, Feb. 12, law enforcement notified the company that hackers had sought and gained unauthorized access to some of its customers’ data.

Upon learning this, Kickstarter immediately closed the security breach and began strengthening security measures throughout the Kickstarter system. According to Strickler’s blog post, no credit card was accessed, although usernames, email addresses, mailing addresses, phone numbers, and encrypted passwords were breached. While no actual passwords were revealed, it is possible for hackers to guess and crack an encrypted password.

Kickstarter said there is only evidence of unauthorized activity of any kind on two Kickstarter user accounts. The company has reached out to those two users and secured their accounts, but advises customers to change their Kickstarter passwords and any other accounts where they have used those passwords.

“We set a very high bar for how we serve our community, and this incident is frustrating and upsetting,” Strickler said in his post. “We have since improved our security procedures and systems in numerous ways, and we will continue to do so in the weeks and months to come. We are working closely with law enforcement, and we are doing everything in our power to prevent this from happening again.”

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Report: Target security warned of hacking risk

BY Dan Berthiaume

Minneapolis – Security staff at Target Corp. reportedly warned management of the risk of a cyber attack before the retailer’s widely publicized November 2013 data breach took place. According to the Wall Street Journal, at least one security analyst at Target recommended the retailer perform a more thorough review of its payment network as early as September 2013.

Senior management reportedly did not initially follow the analyst’s recommendation, which followed warnings from the federal government about emerging new forms of malware that could threaten payment terminals. At the time, Target was upgrading its POS terminals to prepare for the Black Friday shopping rush, which both reduced available time to conduct a security review and also increased network vulnerability.
It is not known whether Target eventually conducted the review as requested before the attack.

Target CFO John Mulligan has previously stated that Target passed a security review in September 2013 and that the company did not know its payment network and terminals had been breached until it was notified by the federal government in late 2013.

The November-December data breach is thought to have originated with dedicated network link used by a Pennsylvania-based heating and refrigerator contractor, Fazio Mechanical Services. It is unclear whether the warning from Target’s security analyst could have prevented the attack if it were responded to in a more timely manner. Target declined comment on the article.

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A new solution for mobile engagement

BY CSA STAFF

Omnichannel marketers have gained a new personalization weapon to engage with shoppers thanks to a partnership between nGage Labs and Web Decisions.

The firms announced a new arrangement that combines nGage’s personalized mobile customer engagement capabilities with Web Decision’s omnichannel marketing database solutions to create a fully integrated database-drive mobile customer engagement solution.

"We are excited to be working with such an innovative company that has invested in delivering truly integrated marketing solutions and has emerged as the leader in marketing database solutions for omnichannel retailers," said Rod Ford, CEO of nGage Labs. "When personalized mobile engagement is utilized as additional engagement with a brand’s best customers, the results are 20% incremental spend and 25% incremental transactions. Using the power of the customer purchase behavior within the database is the key to driving uniquely individual personalization."

Web Decisions said its customers and prospects will benefit from this offering as it leverages an advanced marketing database platform and introduces an additional level of engagement with a brand’s best customers by delivering personalized offers to their mobile devices.

"Our clients are passionate about delivering the optimum digital customer experience to their shoppers," said Kim Addington, CEO of Web Decisions. "Our partnership with nGage Labs brings mobile engagement solutions to retail, and will enable retailers to positively affect the shopping experience of their customers."

Web Decisions provides big data solutions that deliver omnichannel campaign execution and actionable business intelligence. The company’s technology platform involves a real time enabled marketing database platform designed to recognize consumers at virtually any touch point and deliver data driven consumer centric content to the original touch point.

According to nGage Labs, it is leading provider of full-service, analytically-informed personalized mobile customer engagement solutions. The company contends it is disrupting the mass discount mobile coupon practice by using customer transaction history and preference data streams to feed real-time predictive analytics that result in each customer receiving a unique and individually personalized mobile offer.

The company said it has invested more than $10 million to create a seamless and personalized mobile experience through the integrated development of a proprietary cloud-enabled real-time offer personalization engine and mobile delivery platform with mobile redemption capabilities and dynamic data visualization dashboards. The result is a comprehensive closed-loop mobile engagement solution enabling brands and enterprises to provide and measure the effectiveness of highly personalized offers delivered to their best customers through text, push, and digital wallets.

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