Here is the letter Parag Agrawal wrote to Twitter staff after whistleblower’s revelations; extra particulars right here
The yr 2022 is getting extra chaotic for Twitter Inc. The corporate, which is already preventing over to get Tesla CEO Elon Musk to finish his $44-billion buy deal, was hit by recent allegations made by its former head of safety Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, who highlighted that there are severe and widespread safety vulnerabilities on the firm. Lashing out at his claims, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal has now stated that Zatko’s claims are baseless and are “riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies, and introduced with out essential context”.
A current article in The Washington Publish and CNN reported that Zatko, in a whistleblower disclosure, claimed that whereas working he uncovered “excessive, egregious deficiencies” by Twitter surrounding customers’ privateness, safety, and content material moderation. Zatko was fired in January this yr for “poor efficiency”.
The timing of the whistleblower letter is essential as it could give Musk sufficient causes to stop the deal to purchase Twitter for $44 billion. Musk has already raised issues over the difficulty of spam-bot accounts on the social media platform. Twitter in reply has challenged the Tesla CEO in court docket and the matter will likely be heard on the Delaware Chancery Court docket on October 17.
The whistleblower letter
In keeping with the information report, Zatko had despatched the disclosure to Congress and federal businesses, together with the Securities and Change Fee (SEC), the Federal Commerce Fee, and the Division of Justice, final month stating that the microblogging web site has main safety points which can be a severe risk to customers’ private info, firms’ secrets and techniques, shareholders, nationwide safety and the democracy.
The letter additional said that the corporate has allowed too a lot of its staff to entry its central controls, which exposes delicate details about the customers, and there’s no test on the entry.
Zatko has additional alleged that the highest management and senior executives within the firm are attempting to push these discrepancies underneath the wraps, and likewise that somebody or extra staff might be working for the “overseas intelligence service”.
He has additional alleged that the present management was deceptive its personal board and authorities regulators about its safety lapses inside the system, which might result in “overseas spying or manipulation, hacking and disinformation campaigns”.
Zatko has additionally stated when he highlighted the lapses he obtained “stiff pushback” from Agrawal, who initially was the Chief Expertise Officer earlier than he was promoted to the CEO’s submit.
He has added that Twitter has violated an 11-year-old settlement with the FTC by inappropriately claiming that it has a complete safety program in place.
In his disclosure observe, which is round 200 pages, Zatko has added that his findings have been worse than what former CEO Dorsey feared at his time, as the issues have worsened underneath Agrawal. He added that the corporate had by no means complied with the FTC order and wasn’t on monitor to take action.
He additionally added that the corporate has saved Musk in darkish concerning the variety of spam bots in use on its platform and has misled the FTC about absolutely deleting the info of customers who depart the service.
He additionally famous that Twitter’s server infrastructure is a significant issue as it’s susceptible to severe vulnerability. The corporate’s 500,000 servers have outdated software program, which doesn’t have up to date fundamental safety features, similar to encryption for saved knowledge or common safety updates by distributors.
In his reply, which was revealed on Twitter by CNN reporter Donie O’Sullivan, Agrawal stated Zatko was himself fired in January 2022 for “ineffective management and poor efficiency.”
He added Zatko’s narrative concerning the firm is fake and “is riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies, and introduced with out essential context.”
He highlighted that Mudge as the pinnacle of safety at Twitter was answerable for the lapses he’s highlighting now, and blowing them out of proportion greater than six months after his termination.”
“I do know that is irritating and complicated to learn, given Mudge was accountable for a lot of features of this work that he’s now inaccurately portraying greater than six months after his termination. However none of this takes away from the essential work you could have achieved and proceed to do to safeguard the privateness and safety of our clients and their knowledge,” he wrote to his staff.
CNN had reported that Agrawal has vowed to problem the whistleblower disclosure, and warned his employees to anticipate extra such tales to seem.
It’s to be famous right here that Zatko was a longtime safety knowledgeable and has labored with DARPA (US Division of Protection) and Google earlier than becoming a member of Twitter in 2020. He was appointed by former CEO Jack Dorsey after a couple of youngsters hacked high-profile Twitter accounts of celebrities similar to Tesla CEO Musk, Kim Kardashian, former President Barack Obama, and Joe Biden, who at the moment was operating for the US president submit. His first main look was in 1998 when he participated within the first congressional hearings on cybersecurity.