Posted in: Tattle, Technology

Twitter’s whistleblower has pitched up at a very inconvenient moment | John Naughton

A long and detailed complaint about lax practices by the social media firm’s former security chief must be music to Elon Musk’s ears

“Ex-Twitter exec blows the whistle, alleging reckless and negligent cybersecurity policies,” said the new scoop headline. My initial reaction? Yawn… so what’s new: a social media company playing fast and loose with its users’ data? And who’s this whistleblower, anyway? A guy called Peiter Zatko. Never heard of him. Probably another tech bro who’s discovered his conscience…

But what’s this? He has a nickname – “Mudge”. (Cue audio of pennies dropping.) The mainstream media calls him a “hacker”, which is their usual way of undermining a gifted software expert. Which this Mudge certainly is. In fact, in that line of business, he has blue-chip status. He was the highest-profile member of a famous hacker thinktank, the L0pht (pronounced “loft”) and a member of the well-known cooperative Cult of the Dead Cow. In that sense, he was a pioneer of “hacktivism” who has spent much of his life trying to educate the world on cybersecurity and has a long list of discovered vulnerabilities to his credit.

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