Ex-head of security Peiter “Mudge” Zatko accuses Twitter of having very weak security aggravated by the use of spam accounts.
- Ex-head of security Peiter “Mudge” Zatko turns into a whistleblower and accuses Twitter of having very weak security controls.
- In his statement, he mentioned that Twitter itself had underestimated the problems related to spam and bot accounts and had “lied to Elon Musk.”
- Twitter will now combine its spam team and misinformation teams to create a Health Products and Services (HPS) team to tackle this situation.
Ex-head of Twitter’s security department Peiter Zatko has turned whistleblower against the company. He has ratted out Twitter for “lax security measures” taken against spam accounts and the spread of misinformation. He also exposed Twitter for lying to Elon Musk about spam accounts. This apparently encouraged him to back out of the $44 billion deal to buy Twitter.
Zatko was previously the ex-head of Twitter’s security department. He was fired from the company earlier in January this year due to “poor performance” and “ineffective leadership.” According to California whistleblower laws, this could be considered as retaliatory action against a worker.
Zatko has claimed that these security concerns related to the spreading of misinformation through the use of spam accounts have been undermined by Twitter. He filed his legal complaint against Twitter at the Securities and Exchange Commission in July. CBS News has shared a copy of the complaint to only the BBC so far.
In his complaint, Zatko has stated that every week, major security breaches take place on Twitter. These breaches are serious enough that Twitter had to report these incidents to the US government’s security regulators.
However, he has also stated that Twitter has not revealed information about most of these serious security concerns to the government regulators. However, most of the danger comes from “malicious insiders” – employees of the company with malicious intent. They are left “virtually unmonitored.”
Peiter has also accused Twitter of “ignoring” spam accounts and the spread of misinformation most of the time. Only during the elections in various regions do they ramp up their security checks. Also, in his words, Twitter has zero backup plans in case a major security disaster takes place.