- BBC News World
A former security chief at Twitter has claimed that the company misled US authorities and its users about vulnerabilities in its services.
In a statement to Congress and other organizations revealed by the American news network CNN and The Washington Post, the whistleblower, named Peter Zatko, confirmed that the company underestimated the number of fake accounts and spam that was present. on your platform.
The accusations may affect the legal battle that Twitter is waging with billionaire Elon Musk, after the latter announced his intention to cancel the agreement in order to 44 billion dollars to buy the company.
After confirming Zatko’s statements “inaccurate and inconsistent”, Twitter revealed that the informant was fired in January for poor performance.
Zatko accused Twitter of failing to maintain strict security practices and of “lying about bots to Elon Musk” in the complaint he also filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission last July. The BBC has seen a copy of the document, which was published by the American news network CBS News.
In the text, the informant criticizes the way Twitter handles sensitive information and, above all, how it has faced attacks on its platform.
Twitter has faced a series of notable hacks. Former President Barack Obama and current President, Joe Biden, as well as singer Kanye West, were among the targets of these attacks.
A close person confirms that the social network has suffered from a high rate of security incidents. “Around one every week Serious enough that Twitter had to report to regulators.”
He also denounced the company’s failure to take steps to deal with so-called internal threats – security risks posed by people with malicious intent from within the company. They confirmed that there was “semi unattended”.
out of control
The former security chief, in his complaint, describes Twitter as a chaotic company where multiple employees can access sensitive systems containing users’ personal data.
Zecto said she warned that the company lacked a viable disaster recovery plan and that, in the past, it had not properly deleted the data of people who had canceled their accounts.
As for fake accounts and spam, he said that “willful ignorance is the rule,” and accused the administration of showing little interest in accurately determining how many accounts actually existed on its platform.
The Washington Post believes that Moqraq “provided little solid evidence” to support these allegations.
ammo to catch
Elon Musk’s lawyers were quick to respond to Zatko’s revelations. The Tesla founder is in the midst of a legal battle with Twitter, after he announced his intention to break the billionaire’s agreement to acquire the social network, arguing that the company had no way to verify the number of its sites. 229 million active users Newspapers are really people.
After the whistleblower’s statements were released, Musk tweeted screenshots of the story published by the American newspaper.
Zatko’s lawyer told CNN that his client filed his complaint before the businessman did general that it Show for acquiredLaugh To a technology company, he never contacted him.
However, Alex Spiro, one of Musk’s lawyers, told the same network that Zatko has been called as a potential witness in the process that Twitter has initiated against his client.
Deep Throat 2.0
The detective is a former hacker and a well-known figure in computer security circles.
Nicknamed “Mudge”, he was a member of the Computer Security Research Center L0pht (pronounced “loft”), and participated in congressional hearings on cybersecurity in 1998.
He also held senior positions in The Google And at the US government’s research and development agency, Darpa.
“What we have seen so far is false novel About Twitter and our privacy and data security practices are riddled with contradictions, inaccuracies, and lack important context,” a Twitter spokesperson said.
“It appears that Zatko’s accusations and their timing are designed to attract attention and harm Twitter, its customers and its shareholders. Security and privacy have always been Twitter’s priorities and will continue to be.”
For his part, John Ty of the Whistleblower Aid advising organization called Zatko a “hero” and called on authorities to investigate his allegations.
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“Social media evangelist. Student. Reader. Troublemaker. Typical introvert.”