A whistleblower within Twitter has come forward to reveal damning details about the company that America’s national security at risk.
The whistleblower, a former exec at the company, claims that Twitter is overrun by millions of bots that are engaged in “social conditioning” and that officials are turning a blind eye to the problem and have no real idea how many bots are active on the network.
Twitter’s board has been covering up its ‘extreme, egregious deficiencies’ that make it a huge risk to national security and democracy, the whistleblower Peiter ‘Mudge’ Zatko has claimed.
Zatko, the social media firm’s former head of security, made the bombshell disclosure to Congress and federal agencies last month.
He claimed the tech giant is completely mismanaged with thousands of staff given access to central controls and the most sensitive information without adequate oversight.
DailyMail report: Zatko, who reported directly to CEO Jack Dorsey and his replacement Parag Agrawal, said senior executives have been ‘covering up’ the platform’s biggest vulnerabilities, and even claimed one or multiple employees could be working as a spy for foreign intelligence services.
The whistleblower said bosses have misled the board and regulators about its security flaws that have made it susceptible to hacking, manipulation and disinformation.
In claims that will bolster Elon Musk’s legal bid, Zatko also said Twitter chiefs do not have the resources to know how many bots are on the site.
The Tesla CEO claimed the platform has not been truthful about the number of bots and fake accounts among its 238 million daily active users, and subsequently backed out of his $44billion takeover deal.
Zatko, who previously worked at Google and the Department of Defense, also alleged that Twitter does not reliably delete user data after an account is cancelled, often because staff have lost track of it.
The disclosure describes his overall findings as ‘egregious deficiencies, negligence, willful ignorance, and threats to national security and democracy.’
His colorful career began in the 1990s, when he simultaneously conducted classified work for a government contractor and was among the leaders of Cult of the Dead Cow, a hacking group notorious for releasing Windows hacking tools in order to goad Microsoft into improving security.
He was appointed to Twitter to recommend changes in structure and practices to bolster its security after a series of damaging compromises that saw users including Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Elon Musk hacked.
He said at the time he will examine ‘information security, site integrity, physical security, platform integrity – which starts to touch on abuse and manipulation of the platform – and engineering.’
But he was fired in January for what the company claimed was poor performance but what he said was retaliation.
The tech wizard said he tried to flag the security lapses to the board before he went public.