Science, Technology, and Social Media

Famous Hacker Appointed As Twitter Head of Security

Twitter appointed famous hacker Peiter Zatko, more widely known in hacker circles as Mudge, as head of security Monday, according to Reuters.

Zatko will be responsible for recommending improvements in Twitter’s structures and practices. Following up to 60 days of review, he will take on the role of managing key security functions, according to Reuters. He will report directly to Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s CEO, Reuters reported.

Twitter’s new hire follows a number of security breaches over the past year, including an attack on over one hundred verified accounts that compromised then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, by a 17-year-old hacker, according to The Washington Post.

Zatko expressed his excitement about his new position in a Tweet 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,” Zatko said.

Zatko was a leader of the Cult of the Dead Cow, the oldest known computer hacker group in the United States, per Reuters. Cult of the Dead Cow is best known for exposing Microsoft Windows operating system’s lack of security in the late 1900s and promoting “hacktivism.”

Among the other member of the Cult of the Dead Cow is former Democratic Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, according to Reuters.

“There’s just this profound value in being able to be apart from the system and look at it critically and have fun while you’re doing it. I think of the Cult of the Dead Cow as a great example of that,” O’Rourke said, according to Reuters.

While O’Rourke claims to have separated from the Cult after enrolling in college, his writing for the Cult under the name “Psychedelic Warlord” still exists on the internet, Reuters reported.

Zatko continued his career as a cyber program manager at the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research and Projects Agency, before moving on to become the deputy director of advanced technology and projects at Google, per Reuters. More recently, he was in charge of security at the electronic payment company Stripe.

Zatko did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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