A slew of KPCB computers stolen during break in

Steven Loeb · August 22, 2014 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/38c2

The computers may have contained sensitive information, including investors in KPCB funds

There are so many hackings that go on these days, as everyone tries to steal everyone else's information, it's almost a surprise when such data is taken the old fashioned way, with someone actually going in and physically taking an entire computer.

That's exactly what has happened to one of Silicon Valley's biggest venture capital firms, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB). The firm was the victim of a computer theft that occurred last month, according to what Menlo Park police told Reuters on Thursday. 

Two computers, both of which were password-protected, and where were used by the firm's finance department, were taken on the weekend of July 19th. The theives also took an Apple desktop computer, two monitors, and an Apple MacBook Air.

It seems to be unclear at this time what information the hackers were able to get, or if they have done anything with it so far.  According to a letter written by KPCB's Counsel Paul Vronsky to the attorney general of New Hampshire last week, the people in that department have access to sensitive information, such as social security numbers and financial account information.

The reason that Vronsky sent that letter was because at least some of that potentially stolen information involved a resident of his state.

Kleiner Perkins has invested in over 300 companies, some of them among the biggest names in tech. Investments include AppDynamicsCheggCoursera, DocuSign, Dropcam, Facebook, Flipboard,,GrouponInMobi, Jawbone, LendingClub, Nest, NextdoorPathShazam, Spotify, Square, TwitterUberand Zynga

Obviously some of those companies have gone public, or have been acquired, but others, most notably Uber, are still private and hold their numbers close to the vest. It has not disclosed any revenue or user numbers.

As I said above, its unclear what information was actually on those computers that were stolen, or if the thieves even have any idea of what they might have actually got on their hands, but you can bet that these companies will be quite upset if any sensitive information, such as their financials or businesses plans, got out. 

The information could also include information regarding endowments and foundations that have invested in the firm, and want those decisions a secret. 

The tech world has been especially vulnerable to thieves looking to steal data in recent years, with most of them taking the more complicated route of breaking into the company's system to steal their files.

TwitterFacebook,ZendeskAppleMicrosoftEvernoteSnapchatSkypeBitly. and Stubhub are just a few of the companies that have been targets. 

Earlier this week, Chinese hackers were able to access the patient names, addresses, birth dates, telephone numbers and social security numbers of roughly 4.5 million patients who had been referred to Community Health Systems in the last five years.

The most troubling news of all, though, occurred earlier this year, when eBay was the victim of an enormous breach, in which hackers were able to see the name, encrypted password, email address, physical address, phone number and date of birth of up to 145 million of the company's customers. 

VatorNews has reached out Kleiner Perkins for confirmation, and comment. We will update if we learn more. 

(Image source: operationwife.com)

Read more from our "Trends and news" series

More episodes

Related Companies, Investors, and Entrepreneurs

Zynga

Startup/Business

Joined Vator on

Zynga is the largest social gaming company with 8.5 million daily users and 45 million monthly users.  Zynga’s games are available on Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Hi5, Friendster, Yahoo! and the iPhone, and include Texas Hold’Em Poker, Mafia Wars, YoVille, Vampires, Street Racing, Scramble and Word Twist.  The company is funded by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, IVP, Union Square Ventures, Foundry Group, Avalon Ventures, Pilot Group, Reid Hoffman and Peter Thiel.  Zynga is headquartered at the Chip Factory in San Francisco.  For more information, please visit www.zynga.com.

Twitter

Startup/Business

Joined Vator on

What is Twitter?

Twitter is an online information network that allows anyone with an account to post 140 character messages, called tweets. It is free to sign up. Users then follow other accounts which they are interested in, and view the tweets of everyone they follow in their "timeline." Most Twitter accounts are public, where one does not need to approve a request to follow, or need to follow back. This makes Twitter a powerful "one to many" broadcast platform where individuals, companies or organizations can reach millions of followers with a single message. Twitter is accessible from Twitter.com, our mobile website, SMS, our mobile apps for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, our iPad application, or 3rd party clients built by outside developers using our API. Twitter accounts can also be private, where the owner must approve follower requests. 

Where did the idea for Twitter come from?

Twitter started as an internal project within the podcasting company Odeo. Jack Dorsey, and engineer, had long been interested in status updates. Jack developed the idea, along with Biz Stone, and the first prototype was built in two weeks in March 2006 and launched publicly in August of 2006. The service grew popular very quickly and it soon made sense for Twitter to move outside of Odea. In May 2007, Twitter Inc was founded.

How is Twitter built?

Our engineering team works with a web application framework called Ruby on Rails. We all work on Apple computers except for testing purposes. 

We built Twitter using Ruby on Rails because it allows us to work quickly and easily--our team likes to deploy features and changes multiple times per day. Rails provides skeleton code frameworks so we don't have to re-invent the wheel every time we want to add something simple like a sign in form or a picture upload feature.

How do you make money from Twitter?

There are a few ways that Twitter makes money. We have licensing deals in place with Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft's Bing to give them access to the "firehose" - a stream of tweets so that they can more easily incorporate those tweets into their search results.

In Summer 2010, we launched our Promoted Tweets product. Promoted Tweets are a special kind of tweet which appear at the top of search results within Twitter.com, if a company has bid on that keyword. Unlike search results in search engines, Promoted Tweets are normal tweets from a business, so they are as interactive as any other tweet - you can @reply, favorite or retweet a Promoted Tweet. 

At the same time, we launched Promoted Trends, where companies can place a trend (clearly marked Promoted) within Twitter's Trending Topics. These are especially effective for upcoming launches, like a movie or album release.

Lastly, we started a Twitter account called @earlybird where we partner with other companies to provide users with a special, short-term deal. For example, we partnered with Virgin America for a special day of fares on Virginamerica.com that were only accessible through the link in the @earlybird tweet.

 

What's next for Twitter?

We continue to focus on building a product that provides value for users. 

We're building Twitter, Inc into a successful, revenue-generating company that attracts world-class talent with an inspiring culture and attitude towards doing business.

Uber

Startup/Business

Joined Vator on

Uber is a ridesharing service headquartered in San Francisco, United States, which operates in multiple international cities. The company uses a smartphone application to arrange rides between riders and drivers. 

Flipboard

Startup/Business

Joined Vator on

The world's first social magazine. Flipboard is a fast, beautiful way to flip through news, photos and updates your friends are sharing on Facebook and Twitter. 

Inspired by the beauty and ease of print media, Flipboard╩╝s mission is to fundamentally improve how people discover, browse and share content across their social networks. 

http://www.flipboard.com/
http://twitter.com/flipboa rd

Square

Startup/Business

Joined Vator on

Name of the company

InMobi

Startup/Business

Joined Vator on

The largest independent mobile advertising network.

Nextdoor.com, Inc.

Startup/Business

Joined Vator on

Nextdoor (www.nextdoor.com) is a private social network for the neighborhood. Using Nextdoor’s free online platform, neighbors create private neighborhood websites where members can ask questions, get to know one another and exchange local advice and recommendations. Nextdoor is specifically designed to provide a trusted environment for neighbor-to-neighbor communication. Hundreds of neighborhoods are already using Nextdoor to build happier, safer places to call home.

Based in San Francisco, California, Nextdoor was founded in 2010 by Internet veterans who have spent their careers creating thriving online communities.