Startups target for hacks

wargames-hackerHacking attacks are becoming a rite of passage for startups.

Slack, the communications start-up and witch, the hugely popular video streaming service both said that they had been hacked within days of each other.

But they are the latest in a long line of start-ups to get hacked. Apparently the moment a start-up starts to get momentum with users they are being hit by hackers.

Most of the time the hackers are hackers looking to steal, and monetize, the vast personal information they store on users, like email addresses and passwords. The idea is that the start-ups don’t have the security that bigger outfits have.

Slack and Twitch have the user base and the cash to beef up their security. Once Slack had surpassed 200 million messages a month, it attracted $180 million in venture funding. Once Twitch surpassed 55 million users, Amazon scooped it up for nearly $1 billion.

Both companies said they had put measures in place to keep hackers from easily exploiting their users’ information.

At Slack, the company said hackers were able to access a database containing usernames, email addresses, phone numbers, Skype IDs and passwords. The company noted that those passwords were encrypted using a process known as hashing and salting, which makes it much harder, though not impossible, for hackers to crack them. Last month, Slack had half a million daily users.

Twitch also said it encrypted passwords, but warned that hackers might have been able to capture passwords in the clear as users were logging on.