Some parts of Twitter’s source codes were recently leaked online via GitHub. The New York Times report was the report . However, they were removed after the social media platform filed a DMCA Request. The request was published online by GitHub. It stated that the leaked information contained “proprietary code for Twitter’s platform” and other internal tools.
The NYT notes the possibility that the source code was public for several months before it was removed. However, the GitHub profile linked to the DMCA takedown lists a single code contribution since January. The name of the account is listed as “FreeSpeechEnthusiast,” in an apparent reference to Twitter CEO Elon Musk calling himself a “free speech absolutist” in the past.
Twitter asked for the IP addresses and names of all those who downloaded the code.
Proprietary code is often one of a company’s most valuable trade secrets. Public disclosure of its source code can expose the software’s vulnerabilities to potential attackers. It can also allow competitors to gain an advantage by being able see non-public internal workings. In the past, hackers have made source code a target of hackers, such as in attacks against Microsoft and the Cyberpunk2077 developer CD Project Red.
Twitter also asked GitHub to remove the code. It also filed a California court filing to try to locate the responsible person and get information about any other GitHub users that may have downloaded the data. Reports The filing requested that GitHub disclose names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, social media profiles and IP addresses.
A spokesperson from GitHub didn’t respond to questions regarding whether it would comply Twitter’s request for identifying information. An email to Twitter’s official address received an auto-generated poop emoji as a response. Shortly after Musk’s acquisition, Twitter’s press office was shut down.
According to the NYT, Twitter executives believe that a former employee may have been responsible for the leak. However, this doesn’t mean that things are any easier since Musk fired thousands of employees within a short time after he took control of the social media network. Twitter implemented code freezes before layoffs due to fears that employees could try to undermine the business by leaving.
The leaked source code was revealed just days before Twitter announced that it will open-source all code used for recommending tweets on March 31st. If it goes ahead, however, open-sourcing a recommendation system like this ( ) will likely reveal much less code from the company than the leaked code on GitHub.
Twitter has experienced a turbulent year since Musk’s acquisition last year. Tesla CEO Elon Musk paid $44B for Twitter last year, but claims it is only worth $20B. He has been trying to revamp the social media network by putting a lot of emphasis on cost-cutting, and creating new revenue opportunities such as its paid Twitter Blue subscriptions. However, the service’s core reliability appears to have been compromised by numerous interruptions and outages.