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After failing to face several breaches, Twitter appoints a famous pirate as its chief of information security
The American social network Twitter (Twitter) decided to appoint the famous information hacker Peter Zatko – known as “Mudge” – as its head of information security, after facing many loopholes during this year.
Writer Clemons Dino said in her report, which was published in the French newspaper Le Monde, that Peter Zatko may be one of the most prominent symbols of the history of cybersecurity.
The notorious hacker was appointed on Monday, November 16, to the position of Chief Information Officer at Twitter.
In an interview with Reuters news agency, Zatko said that his duties will cover combating the spread of false information and protecting against security breaches, which are skills the company badly needs.
The author added that nearly a year ago, the issue of the platform’s IT security sparked a controversy. At the end of 2019, the US government accused, for example, two former Twitter employees of spying on opponents of Saudi Arabia.
And last July, a group of hackers managed to gain control of dozens of accounts, including those of US President-elect Joe Biden, former President Barack Obama, Apple and entrepreneur Elon Musk, with the aim of launching a fraudulent Bitcoin currency.
The controversy was a wake-up call, according to former Facebook security director Alex Stamos, a researcher at Stanford University, who said that Peter Zatko’s arrival was a “gift” for a company like Twitter, which does not have the same financial status as Facebook or Google.
Businesses mock security
Zatco is a well-known figure to large corporations, especially when it comes to cybersecurity issues. Before joining Twitter, he oversaw the security of Stripe, an online payment platform valued at more than $ 1 billion.
From 2010 to 2013, he also worked with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency at the Pentagon to oversee the granting of funds for cybersecurity projects, before joining the Google Advanced Projects and Technology group in 2013.
But Zatco’s fame in the cybersecurity field dates back to the late 1990s. In 1996, he joined a group of cyber hackers dubbed the “Dead Cow Hacker Group”, which made headlines when it was published in 1998, tools to penetrate Windows operating systems, and its goal was to push Microsoft to improve its defenses.
The author noted that at the age of 27, Zatco is frustrated that companies do not take cybersecurity seriously, and he stated, “Your computers, and the programs, devices and networks that connect them together are not safe. The companies that make these things mock security, and nothing prompts them to feel anxious. Because failure does not cost it anything, and the federal government does not have the ability or the will to do anything about it. “
Willing to take risks
Zatco’s appointment came as Twitter was focused on its users’ posts related to the 2020 US elections, and the Senate heard company president Jack Dorsey and his counterpart from Facebook on November 17 on the matter.
The platform was severely criticized during the 2016 elections for playing a major role in spreading false information online, and it is currently trying to do well thanks to the new rules.
In response to a question from Reuters, Zatko praised Twitter’s new approach to dealing with security problems, saying that it appeared the company had agreed to open up to unconventional methods: “It is willing to take the risk, thanks to algorithm challenges and algorithmic biases, it will not wait for someone else to solve its problems.” .
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