Twitter’s former head of security and esteemed cybersecurity expert Peiter “Mudge” Zatko has alleged that the social media company has misled federal regulators about its cybersecurity practices.
Zatko said that deficiencies in Twitter’s cybersecurity amounted to significant national security threats and that the company regularly mishandles user data and does not have the capacity to adequately understand the extent of its fake account problem.
In 2020 a 17-year-old hacker breached the accounts of then-presidential candidate Joe Biden, as well as Bill Gates and Kim Kardashian.
The whistleblowing occurs ahead of the October 17 trial between Twitter and Elon Musk over whether Musk can back out of his purchase of the company.
At the center of Musk’s reasoning for terminating the deal is an allegation that Twitter misled him about the number of bots on the platform.
Zatko was hired by then-Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in 2020 and was fired by CEO Parag Agrawal in January 2022.
In statement to those publications, a spokesperson for Twitter called Zatko’s allegations a “false narrative about Twitter and our privacy and data security practices that is riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies and lacks important context”.