Updated · Sep 26, 2022
Twitter Whistleblower to Senate: Company Prioritized Profits
Updated · Sep 14, 2022
Pieter Zatko was testifying to a Senate panel in his first public appearance since blowing the lid on security concerns at the social network company.
Lax Privacy and Security
Twitter whistleblower Peiter “Mudge” Zatko slammed the company before a Senate panel on Tuesday. He described Twitter to the Senate Judiciary Committee as being rife with unsecured data and routinely choosing revenue and subscriber growth over privacy and security.
Zatko also added that there are elements of foreign intelligence threats within Twitter’s ranks and that they can access sensitive data.
“Thousands of Twitter employees can access user data they don’t need access to do their jobs,” he alleged. “And if foreign assets work for Twitter, those foreign assets can also access the data. An employee could take over the accounts of all the senators in this room.”
The former hacker added that Twitter’s systems are disorganized and that it does not have a full grasp of its data.
Zatko served as Head of Security until he was fired early this year. His testimony could prove significant in the ongoing legal battle between Elon Musk and Twitter which originated after the billionaire terminated his $44 billion deal to buy the company. A Chancery Court judge agreed to allow this testimony in the trial set to kick off in October.
Riddled With Inconsistencies
In a swift rebuttal, Twitter tanked the whistleblower’s testimony, mirroring its earlier statement.
“Today’s hearing only confirms that Mr. Zatko’s allegations are riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies,” a spokesperson said.
The company representative added that there is no foreign influence on its hiring processes and that access to data is subject to laid-down procedures.
Daniel is an Economics grad who fell in love with tech. His love for books and reading pushed him into picking up the pen - and keyboard. Also a data analyst, he's taking that leap into data science and machine learning. When not writing or studying, chances are that you'll catch him watching football or face-deep in an epic fantasy novel.
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