Twitter is suing a GitHub user for allegedly leaking its source code

A court filing released on the 24th of March, 2023, reveals that some of Twitter's source code was illegally leaked on GitHub.
Christopher McFadden
Elon Musk placed on a computer monitor filled with Twitter logos
Elon Musk placed on a computer monitor filled with Twitter logos

Samuel Corum/Getty 

As the New York Times reported, Twitter Inc. has suffered an embarrassing setback after parts of its source code were leaked online, prompting the social media company to investigate who was behind the leak. The source code is the basic programming that makes Twitter work. Twitter executives are worried that the leak could make it easier for hackers to get into the system in the future, which could put user data at risk.

According to court documents released on Friday, Twitter said that the code posted on GitHub, which is owned by Microsoft and is a collaborative programming network, violated its intellectual property rights. Twitter then had the code taken down. Twitter has asked the US District Court for the Northern District of California to order GitHub to reveal the identity of the user, calling themselves "FreeSpeechEnthusiast," who posted the code and those who accessed and downloaded it. The duration for which the code was available publicly is unknown.

According to Engadget, while the leak's scope and depth have not been disclosed, executives within the company, speaking anonymously, suspect that it could be the work of a disgruntled employee who left the company last year. This is a significant setback for Twitter CEO Elon Musk, who purchased the social media platform for $44 billion last October. Since the acquisition, Musk has laid off 80 percent of the company's staff, leaving Twitter's remaining employees struggling with increased workloads.

Concerns that hackers could use the code to access user data or make new attacks have added to these problems. Twitter is trying to find out who leaked the information to protect user data and stop hacking attempts in the future. In its legal filing, the company also wants to know who looked at or downloaded the code.

The leak has made people wonder how well Twitter's security measures work and how well they can protect user data. Companies all over the world have more and more high-profile security breaches. Twitter needs to take the steps it needs to strengthen its security and stop future breaches. As Twitter's user base and revenue streams continue to grow, the company must demonstrate that it can protect user data and maintain the trust of its users.

The leak is another blow to Twitter's reputation, with users already frustrated by the platform's performance and a rising tide of so-called "fake news" and "misinformation." How the leak will affect Twitter's user engagement and advertising revenue remains to be seen. However, with the growing threat of cyberattacks and data breaches, Twitter must take swift action to identify the person responsible for the leak and take steps to prevent future breaches.

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