Home CISO CORNER Twitter Appoints Famed Hacker ‘Mudge’ as Head of Security

Twitter Appoints Famed Hacker ‘Mudge’ as Head of Security


Reuters reported that Peiter Zatko, a prominent white-hat hacker going by the handle “Mudge,” will take charge of security, site integrity and engineering on behalf of Twitter. Zatko will answer directly to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and will take over management of security functions at the social media site after a 45-60 day review, per Reuters’ reporting.

“Looks like the cat is out of the bag,” said Zatko in a tweet on Monday. “I’m very excited to be joining the executive team at Twitter! I truly believe in the mission of (equitably) serving the public conversation.”

The appointment of Zatko follows several high-profile security incidents at Twitter that have led to criticism of the Twitter’s security practices. In addition to the cybersecurity issues raised by this summer’s hack and cryptocurrency scam, Zatko will face other issues that have damaged Twitter’s reputation.

Zatko had recently been charged with maintaining security at the San Francisco-based electronic payments platform Stripe, and also brings a wealth of experience from his time at Google and the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research and Projects Agency (DARPA).

Zatko, 49, was one of the first computer security researchers to gain a following for his hacking abilities and his understanding of cybersecurity. In one of his first papers in 1995, he described how a buffer overflow works and the threat this flaw posed to networks at the time.

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