The Elon Musk and Twitter battle continues, with a former security chief making explosive comments.
The long battle between Twitter and Elon Musk is not over yet. The newest twist in the saga comes from Twitter’s former security executive, Peiter Zatko. Zatko is a security expert and a famous hacker in the computer world.
He was hired into a senior executive role by Twitter in November 2020 to help with the security of the company. In his role he reported directly to then-CEO Jack Dorsey. Zatko was let go by Twitter’s current CEO.
Zatko sent a disclosure of around 200 pages to U.S.-lawmakers and regulators last month and it was exclusively reported by CNN yesterday. In the disclosure, Zatko alleges that the social-media company has engaged in a series of security missteps that he says have misled the Twitter board, shareholders, and the public.
He further discusses how Twitter allowed too many employees to have sensitive user data making the security for the social-media site extremely weak.
It also says one or more current Twitter employees may be working for a foreign intelligence service, and that Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal misled the company’s board of directors by discouraging Zatko from providing a full account of Twitter’s security weaknesses, according to the exclusive CNN article.
Why it’s news
For months, Elon Musk has attempted to back out of his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter due to the platform having too many fake accounts and the company giving misleading data about itself.
Considering Zatko is a security expert, if the information he is giving is correct this could be huge for Musk. Zatko is alleging that Twitter has many security faults and has not been truthful about other things within the company falling right in with Musk.
Twitter has fired back at Zatko’s statements saying security and privacy have always been a top priority for the social media platform. The company also said the statement from Zatko has inconsistencies, inaccuracies, and lacks important context.
Backing up a bit
In April, Elon Musk announced that he held a 9.2% stake in Twitter, which made him the social-media company’s largest shareholder. Twitter’s stock price soared 25 percent after the announcement.
Later that month, the billionaire entrepreneur offered to buy all of Twitter at $54.20 per share—equaling about $44 billion. He said he originally invested in the platform because he believes it is failing in its potential to be the leading platform for free speech around the globe. In fact, he asked his 2 million followers if Twitter adhered to principles of free speech, and 70 percent said “no.”
Last month, Musk decided to back out of the deal, claiming there were too many fake accounts on the platform. Twitter has since sued Musk in Delaware Court of Chancery to complete the deal and requested the trial to take place in September. Musk, on the other hand, wanted to delay the trial until February 2023, stating that a case of this size takes time to prepare. Twitter was granted its wish of an expedited trial, with Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick, the presiding judge, setting a five-day trial for October.
Musk then countersued Twitter, stating his reason for the termination was due to Twitter not being upfront about the number of fake accounts on the platform.
Most recently, Elon Musk and his legal team have subpoenaed Twitter’s founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey, to get him to release documents that provide accurate information on bots and spam accounts on the social-media platform and now these documents have come out from Zatko.
The trial is set for October, unless it can be settled before that date approaches.