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Twitter head of security is famous hacker Peiter Zatko aka Mudge

As the Twitter head of security, Mudge will be responsible to tackle everything from engineering missteps to misinformation. Mudge will report directly to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

Pavni Jain | November 17, 2020 | Updated 15:44 IST

Highlights

  • Twitter has been taking extra measures to protect the data of its users after the bitcoin scam.
  • Twitter has appointed Peiter Zatko who is known by his hacker name "Mudge" to lead its security division.
  • Mudge confirmed the news by saying, "Iím very excited to be joining the executive team at Twitter!"

Some high-profile Twitter accounts including Joe Biden, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk were hacked a few months ago in July 2020. Popularly known as bitcoin hack, Twitter was slammed by users after the security breach. Since then the company has been taking measures to protect the data of its users. In recent news, Twitter has appointed Peiter Zatko who is known by his hacker name "Mudge" to lead its security division.

Mudge has previously worked with organisations such as L0pht, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), cDc Communications among others. As for working with twitter, Mudge confirmed the news by tweeting, "I'm very excited to be joining the executive team at Twitter!"

As the Twitter head of security, Mudge will be responsible to tackle everything from engineering missteps to misinformation. Mudge will report directly to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey as per reports. For now, Mudge is expected to take over after a 45-to-60-day review of Twitter's current measures and practices.

In an exclusive interview, Mudge said he will examine "information security, site integrity, physical security, platform integrity -- which starts to touch on abuse and manipulation of the platform -- and engineering."

The micro-blogging website has faced quite a few security challenges in the past. The recent one among them has been the bitcoin scam as we mentioned. Other than that, a year ago, the US government also accused two men of spying for Saudi Arabia when they worked at Twitter, according to Reuters. It was said that the Twitter employees passed along private information about the kingdom's critics.

"The data breach this summer was an important reminder of how far Twitter needs to go in building some of the basic security functions necessary to run a service targeted by adversaries much more skilled than the teenagers arrested for that incident," said Alex Stamos, a former Facebook chief security officer and current Stanford researcher who has helped lead efforts to fight election disinformation.

Stamos, who once worked for Mudge's security consultancy, called him a great fit for a company lacking the financial muscle of Facebook and Google. "They are going to have to find creative solutions to these problems, and if Mudge is famous for anything in security, it is being creative."

Mudge said he was committed to improving public conversations on the platform. He praised a recent move to increase "friction" by prompting users to comment instead of simply retweeting someone's tweet. Mudge also said, "They (Twitter) are willing to take some risks. With the challenges of algorithms and algorithmic bias, they are not standing by and waiting until someone else solves the problem."

(with Reuters inputs)

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