Twitter employed well-known hacker ‘Mudge’ as head of cybersecurity

The company relies on hacker Peiter Zatko to prevent further hacks on the platform.

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November 17, 2020 3 min read

This article has been translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors can occur due to this process.

  • The former hacker will be responsible for overseeing the security and integrity of the powerful social network.
  • The appointment comes a few months after the biggest cybersecurity crisis Twitter has ever faced.

The social media giant Twitter has signed the famous hacker Peiter Zatko , better known as “Mudge”, as the new head of Online Safety .

Zatko , who reports directly to CEO Jack Dorsey, is one of the most famous hackers in America. With this appointment, the hacker can recommend changes in the structure and practices of the company.

According to Mudge himself, his responsibility will be “overseeing information security, site integrity, physical security, platform integrity and tampering, and engineering,” he told Reuters.

Another goal of Zatko is to improve the public conversations on Twitter. For example, he spoke out in favor of a recent Twitter initiative that encourages users to comment, not just retweet. The next step could be to force people to understand a long conversation before engaging in it, the hacker explained.

Looks like the cat is out of the pocket.

I am very excited to be joining the Twitter leadership team!

I firmly believe in the mission to serve public discourse (fairly).

I will do my best!

– Mudge (@dotMudge) November 16, 2020

The Boston, Massachusetts native began his hacking career in the 1990s while doing classified work for a government contractor. As part of the Dead Cow Cult, a group of hackers known to attack Windows to encourage Microsoft to improve security.

Zatko has long since left the dark side and is now 49 years old to protect his former victims. His resume includes overseeing the security of Stripe’s electronic payments website. He also worked with Google on specific projects and oversaw the delivery of grants from the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research and Projects Agency (DARPA).

The appointment comes shortly after one of the biggest security crises Twitter has ever faced. In July 2020, a group of young hackers misled some employees and gained access to internal tools. So he published news from the reports of Elon Musk, Bill Gates and the then presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Peiter Zatko is expected to take office after a 45-60 day review.

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