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Twitter whistleblower claims company has major security problems

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Twitter's former head of security Peiter Zatko, also known as “Mudge,” alleged in a whistleblower complaint that Twitter has major security problems. He said that the issues pose a threat to Twitter's users' personal information, to shareholders, to national security, and to democracy, reports CNN and The Washington Post, jointly.

According to Zakto, Twitter's leadership has tricked its own board and regulators about the company's security vulnerabilities. These include some that could allegedly open the door to foreign intervention.

Another one of his allegations was that Twitter does not reliably delete users' data after they cancel their accounts. In some cases, this happens because the company has lost track of the information.

The whistleblower also alleges that the company executives lack the resources to fully understand the true number of bots on the platform. Bots have recently become central to Elon Musk's attempts to back out of a $44 billion deal to buy the company.

A person familiar with Zatko's tenure at Twitter told CNN the company investigated several claims he brought forward around the time he was fired. The person added that Zatko, at times, lacked understanding of Twitter's FTC obligations.

Twitter told CNN that the claim it doesn't know how many bots are on its platform lacks context, explaining that not all bots are bad. It also added that to focus on the total number of bots on Twitter would include those the company may have already taken action against.

"While we haven't had access to the specific allegations being referenced, what we've seen so far is a narrative about 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 we still have a lot of work ahead of us."

The whistleblower's allegations could provide ammunition to Musk's central claim that the figure is much higher than Twitter has publicly reported.

Source: CNN

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