Twitter has been facing cybersecurity-related concerns lately. To that end, the social media giant has appointed one of the world’s best-regarded hackers, Peiter Zatko aka Mudge, as its head of security.
Twitter hires hacker ‘Mudge’ as a Result of Safety to Handle cyber-affairs Months after Bitcoin Scam and Many high-profile Reports were hacked.
Twitter hired Them to overhaul its security and better protect the platform and its users from future cyber attacks.
Peiter Zatko said he is committed to improving public conversations on Twitter, praising a recent move to increase ‘friction’ by prompting users to comment instead of simply retweeting.
Peiter Zatko, 49, widely known by his hacker handle Mudge, will take on the role as Twitter’s head of security, just months after the company suffered a humiliating hack that saw some of the platform’s highest-profile users tweeting out a Bitcoin scam.
Mr. Zatko told Reuters his role will encompass “information security, site integrity, physical security, platform integrity – which starts to touch on abuse and manipulation of the platform – and engineering”.
Willing to take risks
Twitter is willing to take risks, Mr. Zatko said, adding: “With the challenges of algorithms and algorithmic bias, they are not standing by and waiting until someone else solves the problem.”
The security expert was a member of L0pht, a Massachusetts-based hacking group that testified before the US Congress in 1998 to warn the government about the dangers of weak cyber security.
L0pht told Congress that their combined expertise meant they could shut down the entire internet for several days within just half an hour, but that the appropriate authorities had done nothing to heed their advice.
The collective went on to become cybersecurity consultancy @stake, which was later acquired by software firm Symantec.
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Mr. Zatko has worked for US government contractor BBN Technologies, payments company Stripe, Google, and at the US government’s famous Defence Advanced Research and Projects Agency (DARPA).
He is also an accomplished musician, graduating from Berklee College of Music at the top of his class in 1970.
Future of Twitter
Mr. Zatko told the news wire he was committed to improving public conversations on Twitter, praising a recent move to increase “friction” by prompting users to comment instead of simply retweeting; a next step could be to force people to understand a long conversation before participating in it, he said.
He said that he appreciated Twitter’s openness to unconventional security approaches, such as his proposal for confusing bad actors by manipulating the data they receive from Twitter about how people interact with their posts.
Twitter has been facing a slew of security issues. For instance, the social media giant confirmed back in September that the account of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s website was hacked. The hacked Twitter account then posted tweets asking followers to donate to National Relief Fund via cryptocurrency.
Social media giant Twitter TWTR.N Inc, under an increased threat of regulation and plagued by serious security breaches, is appointing one of the world’s best-regarded hackers to tackle everything from engineering missteps to misinformation.
The company on Monday named Peiter Zatko, widely known by his hacker handle Mudge, to the new position of head of security, giving him a broad mandate to recommend changes in structure and practices. Zatko answers to CEO Jack Dorsey and is expected to take over management of key security functions after a 45- to 60-day review.
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