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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Twitter Names Hacker “Mudge” as new Head of Security

Social media juggernaut Twitter appointed on Monday afternoon hacker Peiter Zatko, known by his hacker handle Mudge, to the new position of head of security. Zatko will answer to CEO Jack Dorsey and is expected to take over management of key security functions after a 45- to 60-day review.

Social media juggernaut Twitter appointed on Monday afternoon hacker Peiter Zatko, known by his hacker handle Mudge, to the new position of head of security. 

The company said Zatko will answer to CEO Jack Dorsey and is expected to take over management of key security functions after a 45- to 60-day review.

Zatko 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.”

Zatko pointed out he appreciated the company’s openness to unconventional security approaches, such as his proposal for confusing bad actors by manipulating the data they receive from Twitter about how people interact with their posts.

“They 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,” Zatko said of his new employer.

Zatko’s career began in the 1990s, when he simultaneously conducted classified work for a government contractor and was among the leaders of Cult of the Dead Cow, a hacking group that gained notoriety after releasing Windows hacking tools to goad Microsoft into improving security. 

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