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Twitter Appoints Hacker Pieter Zatko As Its Head Of Security

Twitter aims to fight off security challenges by appointing the former hacker Pieter “Mudge” Zatko as its head of security.

Months after the infamous hack on its platform, the social media giant Twitter has appointed a noted hacker as its head of security. Pieter Zatko, also known as “Mudge,” has also testified before Congress, educated President Bill Clinton about DDoS attacks, and worked in Google and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Twitter To Fight Hacks With A Hacker

According to the Reuters coverage, the social media platform has appointed one of the “best-regarded hackers” as its head of security. Zatko will answer directly to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey after taking over management following a 45- to 60-day review.

Going by his handle Mudge, his functions will include the examination of “information security, site integrity, physical security, platform integrity – which starts to touch on abuse and manipulation of the platform – and engineering.”

Zatko also commented on Twitter that the “cat is out of the bag.” He added that “I truly believe in the mission of (equitably) serving the public conversation.”

The new head of security at Twitter used to be a member of the hacker think tank L0pht and the hacker’s organization – the Cult of the Dead Cow.

L0fph Appearing Before Congress. Pieter Zatko (second from left to right). Source: Twitter
L0fph Appearing Before Congress. Pieter Zatko (second from left to right). Source: Twitter

Zatko explained that during that time, he spent a lot of time in contact with members of the White House National Security Council, and they “hit it off.”

Further down the road, he was a project manager in the DARPA organizations before leaving to work in Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group.

Twitter’s Vulnerable Security

It seems as the Zetko appointment is a direct response to the events that transpired earlier this year.

The social media giant experienced what is described as the worst security breach in its near 15-year history in July. It turned out that a group of teenage hackers had gained access to about 130 accounts, many of which high-profile, to promote a Bitcoin giveaway scam.

The likes of President-elect Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Jeff Bezos, Apple, Elon Musk, and more began offering to double all BTC funds sent to a specific address. Needless to say, it was a blatant scam but it stole over $100,000 from victims.

The situation appeared under control when a few months later, hackers compromised one of the Twitter accounts of Narendra Modi – India’s Prime Minister. This time, the attackers urged people to donate to PM National Relief Fund for COVID-19 using cryptocurrencies.

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