Former Twitter Security Chief Accuses Company Leaders of Committing Willful Fraud in Senate Testimony

Twitter’s former security chief is blowing the whistle before the Senate on Tuesday about the tech giant’s lax cybersecurity measures and how company leaders are committing willful fraud before the public to hide their security vulnerabilities.

“I’m here today because Twitter leadership is misleading the public, lawmakers, regulators, and even its own board of directors,” said Peiter Zatko, who was fired from his position in January after speaking out.

“What I discovered when I joined Twitter was that this enormously influential company was over a decade behind industry security standards,” he continued. “The company’s cyber-security failures make it vulnerable to exploitation, causing real harm to real people.”

“And when an influential media platform can be compromised by teenagers, thieves and spies, and the company repeatedly creates security problems on their own, this is a big deal for all of us,” Zatko added.

A portion of his comments can be seen here:

Zatko filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, Department of Justice, and the Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this year, detailing the situation in a comprehensive 84-page document.

“He is very concerned, to the point that he is taking risks that could jeopardize his future career for the purpose of informing regulators, Congress, the public about the consequences given the vulnerabilities he’s identified,” Zatko’s attorney John Tye, who works with Whistleblower Aid, said to CBS News.

“What he found inside this company was unlike anything he had seen elsewhere,” Tye added.

Twitter continues to deny any problem and is claiming that Zatko’s whistleblowing is motivated by sour grapes.

“What we’ve seen so far is a false narrative about Twitter and our privacy and data security practices that is riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies and lacks important context. Mr. Zatko’s allegations and opportunistic timing appear designed to capture attention and inflict harm on Twitter, its customers and its shareholders. Security and privacy have long been company-wide priorities at Twitter and will continue to be,” Twitter stated.

Zatko said that Twitter’s statement about his poor record is “false” and that he “repeatedly raised concerns about Twitter’s grossly inadequate information security systems to the Company’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors throughout his tenure.”

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