Twitter’s former security chief says company lied about bots and safety


Twitter’s former security chief says company lied about bots and safety, Twitter has hidden negligent security practices, misled federal regulators about its safety, and failed to properly estimate the number of bots on its platform, according to testimony from the company’s former head of security, the legendary hacker-turned-cybersecurity-expert Peiter “Mudge” Zatko. The explosive allegations could have huge consequences, including federal fines and the potential unraveling of Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s bid to buy Twitter.

Twitter’s former security chief says company lied about bots and safety , Zatko was fired by Twitter in January and claims that this was retaliation for his refusal to stay quiet about the company’s vulnerabilities. Last month, he filed a complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that accuses Twitter of deceiving shareholders and violating an agreement it made with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to uphold certain security standards. His complaints, totaling more than 200 pages, were obtained by CNN and The Washington Post and published in redacted form this morning. In an interview with CNN, Zatko said he joined Twitter in 2020 at the bequest of then-CEO Jack Dorsey, right after the company was hit by a massive hack in which accounts belonging to figures like Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Kanye West were compromised. Zatko says he joined Twitter because he believes the platform is a “critical resource” for the world but became disillusioned by the refusal of CEO Parag Agrawal to tackle the company’s many security failings. “This would never be my first step, but I believe I am still fulfilling my obligation to Jack and to users of the platform,” Zatko told The Washington Post regarding his decision to become a whistleblower. “I want to finish the job Jack brought me in for, which is to improve the place.”

Twitter’s former security chief says company lied about bots and safety, Zatko’s allegations are explosive and will have a significant effect on the company. The FTC is currently reviewing the complaint, according to sources cited by The Washington Post, and would likely levy significant fines against Twitter if Zatko’s accusations are proven to be correct. The complaint will also affect the ongoing struggle between Musk and Twitter. Musk is currently trying to extricate himself from a $44 billion agreement to buy the company, justifying the decision with an accusation that Twitter is lying about the true number of bot and spam accounts on the platform. “We have already issued a subpoena for Mr. Zatko,” Alex Spiro, a lawyer representing Musk, said in a statement, “and we found his exit and that of other key employees curious in light of what we have been finding.” Although it’s not clear if Zatko’s complaint affects Musk’s legal argument, it will certainly strengthen the public perception of his case, which is based on the accusation that Twitter is undercounting its bots.

Source: This news is originally published by theverge



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