Indian Govt Agent was Placed inside Twitter: Whistleblower

Story Highlights
  • Peiter "Mudge" Zatko, Twitter's former security chief, appeared before the US senate on Tuesday.
  • Provided further details on his previous allegations regarding Indian government agents inside Twitter.
  • Zatko oversaw security practices at Twitter between 2020 and 2021.

Twitter whistleblower Peiter “Mudge” Zatko on Tuesday alleged that the microblogging platform knowingly allowed India to add agents to the company’s roster potentially providing the country with access to sensitive data about users on the platform. While Chinese Intelligence is accused of employing atleast one in the company.

In a damning testimony on Tuesday before the US Senate, Twitter’s former security chief said that the company ignored its engineers because their “executive incentives led them to prioritise profit over security.” Zatko pressed that Twitter’s security systems are outdated and that it runs vulnerable software on more than half of its data centre servers. He said that the platform was breached by foreign intelligence agencies multiple times

In an explosive complaint filed last month, Zatko alleged that the Indian government forced Twitter to hire an individual who was a “government agent” and likely had access to sensitive user data as part of their job.

The Indian government forced Twitter to hire specific individual(s) who were government agents, who (because of Twitter’s basic architectural flaws) would have access to vast amounts of Twitter sensitive data,” the complaint said. “By knowingly permitting an Indian government agent direct unsupervised access to the company’s systems and user data, Twitter executives violated the company’s commitments to its users.

Zatko has been extremely vocal about Twitter’s weak cyber defenses, and he said that the lack of focus on security has made the “company vulnerable to exploitation by teenagers, thieves and spies”.

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