Twitter would lie about a lot of things, according to its former security chief | TechBuzz

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Peiter Zatko, a hacker known by the pseudonym “Mudge”, was Twitter’s security chief between 2020 and 2022. In a report sent to the American authorities, he denounces his former employer, author of multiple offenses.

What if Elon Musk was right? In the Twitter v. Musk, everything suggests that the boss of Tesla is the one who laughs at the world. The billionaire says Twitter isn’t telling the truth about the number of fake accounts, giving him reason not to buy the company. Unfortunately for Musk, public opinion, as well as the judge in charge of the case, seem to doubt his motives and defend Twitter, which risks losing a lot of money if the takeover does not take place.

Is the wind about to turn? In an 84-page report sent to the American authorities in mid-August 2022, Peiter Zatko, one of the most renowned cybersecurity specialists on the planet, and incidentally the ex-chief of security of Twitter, paints an extremely negative portrait. from his former employer. The Washington Post has got hold of a copy of the complaint which, if proven true, could destroy the company’s reputation.

Twitter, a “chaotic” company, at the origin of “extreme deficiencies”

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Known as Mudge, Peiter Zatko joined Twitter in 2020 after a gigantic social network hack. Jack Dorsey, the company’s founder, who was running Twitter at the time, offered to take over as the company’s security director to fix the problems Twitter was having. Peiter Zatko accepted this challenge, but soon realized the real state of Twitter. We will henceforth speak in the conditional, since we do not have the assurance that what Peiter Zatko says is true.

Peter Zatko
Peiter Zatko confided in the Washington Post after filing a complaint. // Source : Twitter

According to the whistleblower, Twitter is lying a lot. Here are some of his revelations:

  • Twitter allegedly lied to the US FTC (Federal Trade Commission) by claiming in 2011 to have a plan to strengthen its security. Half of the company’s servers are in fact not up to date and its users’ data is not protected at all. This could pose a lot of problems, since Twitter has a lot of sensitive information on important personalities (heads of state, governments, business leaders, etc.).
  • Hundreds of employees would have access to software giving them access to a kind of “God mode”. They could access the data of all users and change their credentials. This software had caused a massive hack in 2020, but nothing would have been fixed.
  • This same software would be used by spies working for states. Zatko gives the example of India, which would have obtained access to monitor protests or of an ex-employee of Twitter who would have used this software in exchange for money and gifts from the Saudi government.
  • Elon Musk would be right, Twitter would deliberately underestimate the number of fake accounts. Why ? Because its management would earn money based on the number of new registrants. She would therefore have made the choice to let the spams multiply.
Paragcover
Parag Agrawal fired Peiter Zatko in January 2022. // Source: Google Cloud / YouTube

What will happen now? US authorities are analyzing this data, which was initially transmitted to Twitter after the company decided to fire Peiter Zatko because of his “poor performance and authority”. Senators are also on the spot and want to audition Peiter Zatko, a bit like Frances Haugen with Facebook.

Twitter denies everything and attacks Zatko

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Asked by the Washington Post, Twitter obviously denies everything. In addition to trying to belittle the work of Peiter Zatko, the company swears that safety is a top priority. She points the “inaccuracies” of the complaint and indicates that Zatko wants him “inflict damage opportunistically”, no doubt seeing a link between this public outing and the trial which will begin on October 17. Twitter also says it removes a million fake accounts every day, responding to both Zatko and Musk.

The letter sent by the boss of Twitter to his employees. He denies everything Peiter Zatko says.

Why release all this publicly now? Peiter Zatko explains that it is a question of ethics “This is not a decision to be taken lightly”. Under the SEC’s whistleblower rules, he is entitled to legal protection from retaliation, as well as potential financial rewards.

What about Elon Musk in all this? Obviously, the timing questions. Elon Musk’s lawyers wanted to have Peiter Zatko testify, alongside Jack Dorsey, just before this case was revealed publicly. This story, if heavily publicized in the coming weeks, will clearly do Elon Musk’s business. One can legitimately ask the question of the link between these two actors.

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I am admin of techbuzz.asia blog & I provide tech-related news. As a part of my hobby, I make content related to technology and gadgets reviews too. I love to be a content creator apart from it, I am a full-time employee in an MNC company and manage blogs systematically. You can mail me at [email protected]

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