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Zatko’s colorful career began in the 1990s, when he simultaneously carried out classified work for a government contractor and was a leader of Cult of the Dead Cow, a hacking group known for releasing tools to Windows hacking in order to induce Microsoft to improve security.
They are willing to take risks
“I’m not sure if anyone can fix Twitter’s security, but he would be high on my list,” said Dan Kaufman, who oversaw Zatko at DARPA and now heads the Advanced Products Group at Google.
Twitter faces many security challenges. A year ago, the US government accused two men of spying for Saudi Arabia while working on Twitter years earlier, claiming they had passed on private information about critics of the kingdom.
In July, a group of young hackers tricked employees into gaining access to internal tools, which allowed them to change account settings and then tweet from the accounts of the then presidential candidate. Joe Biden, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
“This summer’s data breach was an important reminder of how far Twitter must go in building some of the basic security functions needed to run a service targeted by adversaries far more skilled than the teens arrested for. this incident, ”said Alex Stamos, a former Facebook security official and current Stanford researcher who helped lead efforts to combat election misinformation.
Stamos, who previously worked for Zatko’s security consultancy, called it perfect for a company lacking the financial might of Facebook and Google. “They’re going to have to come up with creative solutions to these problems, and if Mudge is famous for anything when it comes to security, it’s being creative.”