Shocker: Ex-Twitter Cybersec. Head Says Company Has A Serious Data Management Problem

Ex Twitter Cybersecurity Head Blames Company Of Mismanagement On Top Levels
Image: Aman Anand/ Fossbytes

With the Elon Musk fiasco just behind Twitter, the company is already in distress. Now, Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, who was previously the company’s head of security, has opened up about Twiter’s utter mismanagement and cybersecurity problems. According to him, Twitter has significant security issues that endanger the personal information of its users, company shareholders, national security, and democracy.

The details Peiter Zatko provided depict the chaotic and reckless environment currently at Twitter. Peiter says the company allows too many of its staff have access to the platform’s central controls and sensitive information. As a result, it allows for foreign spying or manipulation, hacking, and disinformation campaigns.

It is pretty much on the same lines as early Facebook leaks, where an engineer could stalk an ex’s Facebook because of the tools available to him. The incident eventually found its place in the book, An Ugly Truth, exploring Facebook’s problems.

Peiter Zatko reveals poor security practices at Twitter

Ex Twitter Cybersecurity Head Blames Company Of Mismanagement On Top Levels
Image: Twitter

Elon Musk’s attempts to renege on a $44 billion purchase agreement for the company have recently grown heavily reliant on the bot situation. Despite Twitter’s denial of Musk’s assertions, the company is currently in greater trouble as a result of the whistleblower.

Furthermore, the whistleblower claims that in some cases, Twitter does not reliably delete users’ data after they cancel their accounts. It’s because the company has lost track of the data and has misled regulators about whether it deletes the data as required.

When asked about the allegations, a Twitter spokesperson gave evasive responses. A Twitter spokesperson told CNN in a statement that security and privacy have long been top priorities for the company. Twitter also stated that it provides users with clear tools to control their privacy, ad targeting, and data sharing.

Furthermore, Twitter has created internal workflows to ensure that when users cancel their accounts, Twitter will deactivate the accounts and begin the deletion process. Twitter declined to say whether the process is usually completed.

Some of Zatko’s most damning allegations stem from his alleged strained relationship with Parag Agrawal. According to the disclosure, Agrawal and his lieutenants repeatedly discouraged Zatko from providing the company’s board of directors with a full accounting of Twitter’s security issues. This in itself is a serious allegation.

The company’s executive team allegedly directed Zatko to provide an oral report on his preliminary findings regarding the company’s security. They asked Zatko to knowingly present cherry-picked and misrepresented data in order to create the false impression that urgent cybersecurity issues were being addressed. Twitter executives also kept the true scope of the company’s problems hidden.

In conclusion, Zatko says Twitter is a company with deplorable security practices and mismanagement. What are your thoughts on this? Comment down below.

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