Skip to content

Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, former head of security at Twitter, testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on data security at Twitter, on Capitol Hill, on 13  September, 2022. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Security News Round-Up: Former Twitter Security Official Testifies, Monarchy Protestors, Progress Fighting Violent Crime, and Other News

The Global Security Exchange (GSX) conference wraps up today, be sure to see coverage of the conference in the GSX Daily, including coverage of the Tuesday keynote on how security failures led to one of the most serious data breaches in history and a session on mass evacuations. Here are some of the news stories from around the world related to security

Whistleblower: China, India Had Agents Working for Twitter

Former Twitter security chief Peiter Zatko testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday, saying that Twitter unknowingly hired a Chinese intelligence official and knowingly hired agents from India, as well as several other troubling revelations.

“I am here today because Twitter leadership is misleading the public, lawmakers, regulators and even its own board of directors,” Zatko said as he began his sworn testimony. “They don’t know what data they have, where it lives and where it came from and so, unsurprisingly, they can’t protect it. It doesn’t matter who has keys if there are no locks. …Twitter leadership ignored its engineers,” he said, in part because “their executive incentives led them to prioritize profit over security.”

Package Explodes at Boston’s Northeastern University, Injuring One

On Tuesday evening a package detonated in a Northeastern University building in Boston, Massachusetts. The small blast injured one school employee. Further inspection revealed a second package, which was safely removed from the scene.

CNN is reporting that “the package contained a rambling note that criticized Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and the relationship between academic institutions and the developers of virtual reality.”

Police Arrest Anti-Monarchy Protesters at Royal Events in England, Scotland

From The Washington Post: “Lawyers and free-speech activists are ringing alarm bells after reports emerged in recent days of police detaining, moving and in some cases even arresting protesters at the events marking the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the accession of her eldest son, Charles

“People have been picked up by police as they shouted against the crown, heckled royals marching by and carried anti-monarchists signs — and in one case, a blank sheet of paper. The police crackdown on such protests has raised questions about freedom of speech during this fraught period for the United Kingdom.”

FBI and Law Enforcement Partners Arrest Nearly 6,000 Violent Criminals This Summer

In a video message to the public yesterday, FBI Director Christopher Wray announced that from May through the beginning of September local, state, and federal authorities had arrested 6,000 alleged violent criminals, seized more than 2,700 firearms, disrupted 845 violent gangs and criminal enterprises, and disbanded 105 violent gangs and criminal enterprises.

The arrests, seizures, and disruptions are the result of extensive coordination across all levels of law enforcement, Wray said.

“Keeping our communities and our country safe is the Justice Department’s priority, every single day. At the beginning of this year, we further intensified our department-wide efforts to combat violent crime, including by directing all 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices to develop and implement district-specific violent crime reduction strategies,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “Together with our law enforcement partners across the country, we will continue to do everything we can to protect our communities from violent crime.”

GPS Jammers Are Being Used to Hijack Trucks and Down Drones: How to Stop Them

From the report on ZDNet: “Satellite navigation and tracking via GPS has become a critical link in the world's rapidly growing logistics and freight carrying ecosystem. Companies use GPS to track trucks and keep them on time and their cargo secure. Little wonder, then, that criminals are turning to cheap GPS jamming devices to ransack the cargo on roads and at sea, a problem that's getting worse but may be ameliorated with a new generation of safety technology designed to overcome threats from jamming.”