Earlier this year, Twitter experienced its largest and most visible hack to date. Several high-profile Twitter accounts were hacked and posted a message with the link to a bitcoin wallet. The tweets were live for four hours, and the hackers received over $100,000 via 300 transactions. You can read more about the timeline of the hack here.
Since the hack, Twitter has been transparent about what happened, how it happened, and the steps the company is taking to better protect its users. In their next step towards better cybersecurity precautions, they hired Rinki Sethi as their Chief Information Security Officer in September, and more recently, they have hired the famous hacker, Peiter Zatko, as their new Head of Security.
Sethi is a security industry veteran having served as Vice President for Information Security at IBM, Vice President for Information Security at Palo Alto Networks, Director & Head of Product Security at Intuit, and various other cybersecurity roles at eBay, Walmart, PG&E.
In her new role, she will oversee Twitter’s InfoSec division which includes the company’s information security practices and policies. Previously, the role had been left vacant since December 2019.
With a different career journey, Twitter’s newest employee, Zatko, is a high-profile, ethical hacker known as “Mudge” with a long career in security work. He previously worked for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency at the Defense Department and for Google in their Advanced Technology and Projects division.
He rose to online fame in the 1990s as a top figure in the hacking collective known as “the Cult of the Dead Cow,” who developed and distributed tools that allowed users to hack Microsoft’s Windows operating system. The goal of the hack was to force Microsoft to step up their security.
In a tweet, Zatko confirmed the hiring when he wrote “I’m very excited to be joining the executive team at Twitter! I truly believe in the mission of (equitably) serving the public conversation.”
Both Sethi and Zatko will have their work cut out for themselves as Twitter continues to upgrade their security systems and protocols in the wake of the July 2020 hack.