Twitter on the Hunt for Leaker After Source Code Goes Public
Twitter, one of the most popular social media platforms, has been facing a new challenge lately. A legal filing claims that some of the computer code that powers Twitter has been leaked online. The leaked information was allegedly shared on GitHub, an online platform used by software developers, by a user named “FreeSpeechEnthusiast”.
The social media giant has claimed copyright infringement and has asked a court to compel GitHub to identify the poster and anyone who downloaded the code. While GitHub has confirmed that it complied with Twitter’s request to take down the code, it has declined further comment. Twitter, on the other hand, has not responded to any requests for comment.
The leaked code poses a significant threat to Twitter’s security. It is also a major concern as the social media platform is already grappling with a host of issues. These range from company cash-flow to site outages, and are part of Elon Musk’s efforts to change Twitter’s course through an aggressive mix of cost-cutting and policy changes.
Elon Musk & The Twitter’s Downfall
Elon Musk took over as CEO of Twitter last year. His aim was to revive the social media platform by introducing new policies. However, these changes have not been smooth sailing. The site has already faced numerous outages and former staff members have expressed concern about the site’s security and performance after Musk initiated large-scale layoffs, reducing the workforce by more than two-thirds. The latest leak of Twitter’s source code raises questions about the security of the platform.
Since Elon Musk took over Twitter and initiated massive layoffs, the social media platform has been going through a period of turbulence. Musk, who purchased Twitter for $44 billion last year, had claimed that he wanted to promote “free speech” on the platform. However, this move has raised concerns among many users who fear that safety guardrails are being rolled back, leading to an increase in hate speech on the site.
22 Billion in Market Value lost since Acquisition
In a recent email sent to staff, Musk referred to Twitter as an “inverse startup” undergoing radical changes. The email, which discussed stock awards for employees, revealed that Twitter was currently valued at around $20 billion, which is less than half of its acquisition price. However, Musk believes that the platform has the potential to be worth more than $250 billion in the future.
Under Elon Musk, Twitter has encountered several obstacles. These include a bumpy initial launch of a service that allows users to pay for a blue checkmark, which is used to denote verified accounts. The service was temporarily paused but has since been relaunched. Twitter announced that unpaid checkmarks will be removed from April 1.
The company has also experienced significant outages when engineers made minor code tweaks, leading Musk to publicly criticize Twitter’s “brittle” code and suggest that it will need a complete rewrite.
But these issues are not the only concerns facing Twitter. Before Musk took over, a former security executive, Peiter Zatko, blew the whistle on the company for allegedly deceiving regulators about “extreme, egregious deficiencies” in its defenses against hackers. This revelation worried lawmakers and regulators because Twitter was already under FTC oversight for its security and privacy practices.
Will the leaked code harm Twitter?
While it is still unclear whether this will expose Twitter to security vulnerabilities or hackers, experts are warning of potential risks. According to Kurtis Minder, CEO of cybersecurity company GroupSense, “source code is sort of the keys to the kingdom…you generally don’t want your source code dumped like this.” The ‘Source code’ is a the sum of programming code that powers apps and could contain insights that may contains secrets or allow access.
However, Lukasz Olejnik, an independent cybersecurity researcher and consultant, believes that users’ personal information is likely not at risk. The biggest concern for Twitter may be the impact on its reputation. It is difficult to gauge whether an exploitable vulnerability can be spotted and utilized immediately, he said.
Twitter filed a takedown request to GitHub, describing the leak as “proprietary source code for Twitter’s platform and internal tools.” The legal filing referred to it as “various excerpts of Twitter source code.”
It is unknown what will be the full consequences of the Leak. Twitter has been reluctant to answer media requests and Musk advised to resorting to very controversial methods.