Due to the recent security breaches, Twitter has appointed a well-known hacker, Peiter Zatko (Mudge), as the head of security of the company. This position will give him the broad mandate to effect changes in structure and practices within Twitter.
Peiter Zatko will answer to CEO Jack Dorsey and is expected to oversee the management of primary security functions after a 45 to 60-day review.
In an exclusive interview, Zatko promised to examine information security, platform integrity, and overall engineering to ensure that the platform does not become a tool for abuse or manipulation.
Zatko’s career before the appointment
Before the appointment, Zatko headed the security unit at the electronic payments unicorn, Stripe. He also handled special projects at Google and gave grants for projects on cybersecurity at the Pentagon’s famed Defense Advanced Research and Projects Agency (DARPA).
His career began in the 1990s when he simultaneously handled a job for a government contractor. He was also among the leaders of Cult of the Dead Cow, a notorious hacking group known for releasing Windows hacking tools to encourage Microsoft to improve its security.
Responding to the appointment, Zakto’s supervisor at DARPA and the leader of the advanced product group at Google (Dan Kaufman) believes that no one can fix the security issues on Twitter. But he is optimistic that Zakto will do a good job, as he is at the top of his list.
Twitter faces numerous security threats
A year ago, some persons were accused of spying for Saudi Arabia when they worked at Twitter years earlier. They shared private information about the kingdom’s critics on social media. In July, a group of hackers also tricked employees, disrupted internal settings, and changed the account settings of some notable crypto enthusiasts. They began to tweet from the accounts of Joe Biden, Tesla, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates, which caused unrest in the crypto community.
In addition to that, a former Facebook Chief Security Officer and current Stanford researcher, Alex Stamos, gave a remark concerning the recent security breaches.
“The data breach this summer is an important reminder of how far Twitter needs to go in building basic security functions necessary to run the platform. Twitter is the target of many high-profile hackers, so they need to strengthen their security services. I also commend Twitter for choosing Mudge, as he is not just famous for anything in security, but also very creative.”
In conclusion, Zakto reiterated his commitment and promised to improve public conversations on Twitter. He applauded the recent move to prompt users to comment instead of just retweeting. He also commended the openness to unconventional security approaches on Twitter and willingness to instigate the changes they need by themselves.