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Twitter whistleblower says poor security is a national risk

Is this the Facebook Papers all over again?

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Twitter’s former head of cybersecurity has just released a massive disclosure that accuses the social media giant of having several security threats that endanger users, shareholders, and even national security.

Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, Twitter’s former head of security, recently sent a massive disclosure to Congress that paints a not-so-appealing picture of Twitter’s security practices.

CNN obtained the disclosure and shared details in a scathing new report. In the more than 200-page report, Zatko accuses Twitter of several security deficiencies that are putting people in danger.

Of course, Twitter has completely denied any of these claims for now:

“What we’ve seen so far is a false narrative about Twitter and our privacy and data security practices that is riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies and lacks important context. Mr. Zatko’s allegations and opportunistic timing appear designed to capture attention and inflict harm on Twitter, its customers, and its shareholders. Security and privacy have long been company-wide priorities at Twitter and will continue to be.”

Zatko claims that Twitter is falling short in several security aspects. He says that too many company employees have access to critical controls.

On top of that, the former head of security states that around 40 percent of internal devices allegedly don’t meet basic cybersecurity standards.

READ MORE: Is Twitter putting its users’ security at risk?

Zatko also expressed concerns over the company’s infrastructure. He claims that about half of Twitter’s servers use outdated software with little to no protections enabled.

Additionally, Zatko believes that Twitter failed to properly report on the number of bots on the platform. To add to that, it might not even have the tools to fully comprehend the number. This could be huge in the ongoing legal battle with Elon Musk.

To continue, the former head also notes that he believes the Indian government all but forced the company to hire a government agent. This agent could also access “vast amounts of Twitter sensitive data.”

Despite these concerns, Twitter has brushed off Zatko’s claims that it has lackluster security. Twitter fired Zatko from his position back in January for what the company says was “poor performance.”

Twitter’s claims so far are that this disclosure is a sort of retaliation against the company for firing Zatko. Nevertheless, these papers were sent to Congress and other federal agencies to be analyzed last month.

It will be interesting to see what kind of stories follow this disclosure, similar to what we saw with Frances Haugen and the Facebook Papers several months ago.

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Staff writer at KnowTechie. Alex has two years of experience covering all things technology, from video games to electric cars. He's a gamer at heart, with a passion for first-person shooters and expansive RPGs. Shoot him an email at alex@knowtechie.com

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