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‘Egregious deficiencies’ at Twitter unearthed by whistleblower claims

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In a bombshell accusation, Twitter’s former head of cybersecurity “has accused the company of a number of egregious security flaws and oversights” reports NBC News. The information is according to a whistleblower complaint filed with the U.S. government this year.

Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, a veteran cybersecurity expert widely respected in the industry, filed the complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice in July. Whistleblower Aid, a nonprofit that provides legal assistance to whistleblowers, confirmed the complaint’s authenticity, the NBC report adds.

In January, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal fired Zatko and another top security official in a shakeup of that department.

NBC News reports:

The complaint, first published by The Washington Post and CNN, makes a wide range of damning claims about Twitter, including that members of the company’s board of directors misled the public and government agencies about the company’s security. The former security chief alleged in the complaint that he was told to withhold a major security report from Twitter’s board and to write misleading security documents.

In response to the whistleblower complaint, a Twitter spokesperson called Zatko’s account “a false narrative” and said Zatko was fired because he displayed “ineffective leadership and poor performance.”  It also said his allegations about Twitter’s security was “riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies and lacks important context.”

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Twitter Admits Flaw ‘Exposed Private User Data’ of over 5.4 Million Accounts

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In the battle of  Tesla CEO Elon Musk and giant media tech Twitter, the billionaire could also receive an investigative journalism award for the content that is being exposed.

Twitter was recently forced to admit “that a vulnerability in its code led to the exposure of data of anonymous users on the platform. Private user data on more than 5.4 million accounts was accessed before the company patched the bug that let malicious actors into the system” reports Breitbart News.

Engadget reports that Twitter has confirmed a vulnerability in its code that led to the exposure of anonymous users’ data. In a blog post published on Friday, Twitter stated that a “malicious actor took advantage of a zero-day flaw in its code before it became aware of the issue and patched it in January 2022.”

The beloved blame game. Sounds awfully familiar. Breitbart continues:

The vulnerability was noticed by a security researcher who contacted Twitter via its bug bounty program. Twitter initially said that there was “no evidence” to suggest that the flaw had been exploited, but an individual told Bleeping Computer last month that they had taken advantage of the bug and obtained data on more than 5.4 million accounts.

Twitter stated that it is unable to confirm whether users were affected by the exposure. The vulnerability allows the hacker to determine whether an email address or phone number was linked to an existing Twitter account. The hacker was then able to determine who owned the Twitter account.

“We are publishing this update because we aren’t able to confirm every account that was potentially impacted, and are particularly mindful of people with pseudonymous accounts who can be targeted by state or other actors,” Twitter said. “If you operate a pseudonymous Twitter account, we understand the risks an incident like this can introduce and deeply regret that this happened.”

Twitter stated that it would notify all account owners that it could confirm were affected by the exposure. “The company recommends that users attempting to hide their identity not link a publicly known phone number or email address to an account and to enable two-factor authentication” adds Breitbart.

Breitbart News recently reported on Musk’s countersuit, which just became public:

“Twitter played a months-long game of hide-and-seek to attempt to run out the clock before the Musk Parties could discern the truth about these representations, which they needed to close,” the countersuit alleges. “The more Twitter evaded even simple inquiries, the more the Musk Parties grew to suspect that Twitter had misled them.”

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