Twitter is facing a new controversy as its source code has been leaked online, according to court filings published on Friday. The leak [now takedown by DMCA] was first reported by the New York Times and is another embarrassing development for new Twitter CEO Elon Musk. The source code is the base programming that makes Twitter possible, and its leakage could have serious implications for the company and its users.
Twitter has claimed copyright infringement and requested the code’s removal from the GitHub collaborative programming network. While the code was taken down the same day, it is unclear how long it had been left up, or the extent of the leak. Twitter has also asked the US District Court for the Northern District of California to order GitHub to reveal the identity of the user who posted the code and those who accessed and downloaded it.
Sources within the company, who are privy to the internal investigation into the leak, strongly suspect that it was the work of a disgruntled employee who had left within the last year. This news comes as a coincidence, as Elon Musk purchased Twitter for $44 billion last October and laid off 80% of the company’s staff. Twitter executives are concerned that the 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.
The leak could not have come at a worse time for Twitter. The site has been facing a resurgence of scammers and white nationalists since Elon Musk’s takeover. The threat of outright hacking could be the final straw for advertisers and users alike, who have already been growing increasingly concerned about the site’s functionality.