Twitter Inc deceived federal regulators about its defenses against hackers and spam accounts, CNN and the Washington Post said on Tuesday, citing whistleblower disclosures by the social media company’s former security head Peiter Zatko.
According to CNN, citing Zatko’s complaint, Twitter management lacks the resources and motivation to properly determine the exact number of bots on the network.
The social media firm is mired in a court dispute with Tesla Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk, who said in July that he was terminating a $44 billion offer to purchase the company, saying that it had broken the transaction contract.
Regarding how it determines the number of bots using the site, Musk said that Twitter withholds information regarding this. On October 17, a court hearing is planned.
The Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, and Zatko received the complaint last month, according to the Washington Post.
Reuters contacted Zatko for comment, but he did not answer right away. Musk was also unavailable for comment.
Two years after being assigned to the position of head of security, Twitter announced in January that nL1N2U11KV Zatko, a well-known hacker better known as “Mudge,” was no longer in that position.
Zatko was let go from his senior executive position in January, according to a Twitter spokeswoman, for “ineffective leadership and poor performance.”
“Zatko’s accusations and opportunistic timing appear to be done to get attention and hurt Twitter, its users, and its stockholders. At Twitter, security and privacy have always been top considerations and will remain so.
According to CNN, Zatko started the whistleblower procedure before there was any sign of Musk’s participation with Twitter, and John Tye, the founder of Whistleblower Aid and Zatko’s attorney, claimed that Zatko had not spoken with Musk.
Reuters’s request for a response was not immediately answered by Whistleblower Aid.