Twitter’s former security chief, Peiter Zatko, claims that the social network has not been able to communicate the exact number of fake accounts present on the platform. According to him, Twitter’s security practices are flawed and its fight against spam and ineffective bots. These accusations join those of Elon Musk on fake accounts, when he announced that he no longer wanted to buy the social network last July.
Musk and Zatko agree on fake Twitter accounts
Twitter is the subject ” glaring extreme failures » said Peiter Zatko, who blames the platform’s moderation, security and privacy policies for not having evolved since 2011. The man, who left his post as chief security officer in January 2022, had joined the company at the end of 2020. According to information from the washington postpublished on August 23, he filed several complaints with the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the United States Department of Justice on July 6.
Lawsuit against Twitter: Jack Dorsey must provide documents to Musk
He accuses Twitter executives, including CEO Parag Agrawal, of doing misleading statements with users and investors of the social network. According to him, those responsible for the platform would have acted with “ negligence and complicity in efforts by foreign governments to infiltrate the platform.
The Peiter Zatko revelations come as Twitter is embroiled in a legal battle against Elon Musk, who is seeking to back out of his takeover proposal. The accusations of the two protagonists seem to agree concerning the large number of fake accounts. While the Tesla boss believes that Twitter provided figures far from reality, the former security chief accuses the company of not investigating the exact number of fake accounts, because it would impact its image and its value in stock Exchange.
A potential violation of an agreement with the FTC
Peiter Zatko also claims that more than half of the 500,000 servers used by Twitter are running on outdated software and that a quarter of employee computers have disabled software security updates. In total, 7,000 employees would have had free access to Twitter’s internal software, without such access being closely monitored.
If these accusations are proven, it would be a violation of a agreement made with the FTC in 2011. Twitter was committed not to mislead consumers in protecting their private information. The platform also had to create and maintain an information program to have its security assessed by an independent auditor every ten years.
The situation is constantly evolving, former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey received an injunction from Elon Musk’s lawyers to provide him with documents on the effects of the fake accounts. They will constitute a central piece of evidence in the lawsuit which will oppose the CEO of Tesla to Twitter on next october 17. Although Zakto’s accusations have yet to be investigated by authorities, a Twitter spokeswoman said they are false and that ” these allegations and the opportunistic timing appear designed to capture attention and inflict harm on Twitter, its customers and its shareholders “.