Twitter: can Musk use GodeMode to delete tweets and more?27. January 2023
Twitter: can Musk use GodeMode to delete tweets and more?
San Francisco, 1/27/2023
A whistleblower has testified before the U.S. Congress and the FTC that Twitter engineers and Elon Musk can use an internal program called GodMode that allows them to tweet with any account and delete and restore tweets at whim.
The whistleblower’s complaint alleges that GodMode (now renamed “privileged mode”) remains on the laptop of any engineer who wants it, requiring only a production computer and a simple code change from “FALSE” to “TRUE.” Screenshots of the code, included in a complaint filed with the FTC in October, show a warning to anyone trying to use it: “THINK BEFORE YOU DO.”
Twitter has been under scrutiny for its security for years. Teenage cryptocurrency scammers broke into the organization’s internal systems in 2020 and sent fake tweets from President Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Elon Musk and other accounts.
At the time, Twitter had launched a “comprehensive information security program reasonably designed to protect the security, privacy, confidentiality and integrity of nonpublic consumer information” and assured all affected parties that the problem was fixed and things were under control.
Apparently, one of the first actions Musk took after the acquisition was to causem to configure him a system with GodMode.
These new allegations show that security may still be an issue at Twitter. The new complainant’s filing states that the incident led Twitter to reopen the case, which led to the discovery that engineers could also delete or recover anyone’s tweets.
The whistleblower also claims that Twitter cannot log who, if anyone, is using or abusing the special privileges.
At the time of this writing, the FTC is reportedly interviewing former Twitter employees about the allegations.