Portions of Twitter’s source code were reportedly leaked online

In yet another embarrassing development for new Twitter boss Elon Musk, court filings published Friday reveal that portions of the social media site’s source code — the base programming that makes Twitter possible — have been leaked online, the New York Times reports.

Per court filings, Twitter claimed copyright infringement in an effort to have the offending code taken down from the Github collaborative programming network, where it had been posted. While the code was removed the same day, details as to how long the code had been left up were not made available, nor were the leak’s scope or depth. As part of the takedown request reminiscent of Raytheon’s famous — failed — attempt at court-sanctioned doxxing, Twitter also asked the US District Court for the Northern District of California to order Github to reveal both the identity of the user who posted the code and those who accessed and downloaded it. 

The NYT reports that, per sources within the company privy to the internal investigation into the leak, Twitter executives strongly suspect it’s the work of a disgruntled employee who had left, “within the last year.” Coincidentally, Elon Musk purchased Twitter last October for the eye-watering price of $44 billion and proceeded to lay-off and otherwise lose 80 percent of the company’s staff, not the 75 percent that everybody feared Musk would enact in the run-up to his purchase.  

The executive who spoke with the NYT are primarily concerned that revelations gleaned from the stolen code could empower future hacking efforts, either by revealing new exploits or allowing bad actors to access Twitter user data. If the increasingly temperamental page functionality wasn’t enough to send the site’s user base running for the hills that the site’s resurgence of scammers and white nationalists since Elon’s takeover didn’t already scare off, will the threat of outright hacking be the final straw for advertisers and users alike? 

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