Peiter “Mudge” Zatko appeared before Congress, telling legislators that Twitter lacks the capacity to address the variables jeopardizing its users’ data. He went on to say that there may be spies among the company’s personnel.
During his testimony, the whistleblower described a situation in which a Twitter employee ignored an issue regarding a spy danger. He said that the employee rejected the worry despite the fact that it offered potential dangers to the company’s operations.
Zatko also said that, prior to coming forward as a whistleblower in January, the FBI sent a caution to Twitter saying that it had Chinese spies on its personnel. It’s unclear whether Twitter has already resolved the problem. Meanwhile, the FBI appears to be staying silent on the subject.
Twitter, according to Zatko, has systematic issues. These might adversely impact the security of the company’s user data. Furthermore, the company’s alleged inability to remedy the flaws poses a threat to US national security.
Zatko presented various arguments in support of his charges against Twitter. The whistleblower detailed a variety of issues, including Twitter mishandling its customers’ data, violating the consent order reached with the US Federal Trade Commission in 2011, and enabling the majority of its staff access to sensitive user information.
The several flaws cited by Zatko in front of Congress all pointed to Twitter’s inability to spot and expel spies inside the organization.
Zatko’s camp will push though
Zatko’s legal counsel, Alexis Ronickher, stated that they are doing their share to make cyberspace safer for users.
“Mr. Zatko is hopeful that the Committee’s work today has helped educate the public about just how dire the security and privacy situation is at Twitter and how impacted we all are by these failures. He continues to believe that through this public disclosure process, real-world harm for Twitter users may be avoided and our country’s national security better protected,” Ronickher explained.
At the same time, lawmakers underscored the significance of Zatko’s claims during the session. To protect the people and the nation, they said that any interference that poses a threat to Twitter should be carefully addressed. The head of the Judiciary Committee, Senator Dick Durbin, stated that Twitter is a powerful platform and shouldn’t permit its protection measures to be easily infiltrated.
Twitter faces threats from the outside
Zatko expanded on his disclosure, claiming that Russia and China may be able to intrude on US-based info. Zatko stated that over 7,000 Twitter workers had access to confidential user data and that if the firm hired spies, this data would be exposed.
He went on to say that foreign governments might utilize information like email addresses, phone numbers, IP addresses, locations, home addresses, languages, and private information for whatever reason they wanted.
Twitter also does not have an internal system monitoring mechanism that records who accesses important information, which means that any employee might retrieve a piece of specific information, and the corporation would have no idea who it was. It would therefore be impossible to identify the person conducting the heinous crimes.
“There were thousands of failed attempts to access internal systems that were happening per week, and nobody was noticing. This fundamental lack of logging inside Twitter is a remnant of being so far behind on their infrastructure and the engineering,” Zatko further revealed.
“A Twitter engineer, understanding how the running systems and the data flows were operating, could then access and inject, or put forward, information as … any of the senators sitting here today.”