There’s a new whistleblower on Twitter as another former employee raises the alarm about security concerns. according to The Washington Post. A new complainant speaking to Congress and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says any Twitter engineer still has access to a built-in program — formerly known as “GodMode” — that allows tweeting from any account.
The whistleblower’s complaint alleges that GodMode (now renamed “privileged mode”) resides on the laptop of any engineer who wants it, requiring only a production computer and a simple code change from “FALSE” to “TRUE.” Screenshots of the code included in the complaint filed with the FTC in October warn anyone who tries to use it: “THINK BEFORE YOU DO.”
This isn’t the first time Twitter’s security has come under scrutiny. Teenage crypto scammers in 2020 hacked the company’s internal systems, sending fake tweets from the accounts of President Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Musk and others. Twitter executives at the time said they fixed the problem and has been activated “A comprehensive information security program fundamentally designed to protect the security, privacy, confidentiality and integrity of consumers’ non-public information.”
However, Twitter’s first whistleblower, Peiter Zatko, controversial that. Another engineer claimed at the time that GodMode was still widely available.
The incident prompted Twitter to reopen the case, which led to the discovery that engineers could also delete or restore anyone’s tweets, the new plaintiff’s filing says. (Neither can regular Twitter users.) It also claims that Twitter cannot access anyone who uses or abuses any of the special privileges.
The new whistleblower complaint was filed by Whistleblower Aid, the same nonprofit that represents Zatko. The FTC is reportedly interviewing former Twitter employees about the allegations.
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