(RoyalPatriot.com )- In a legal filing from Twitter on Sunday, the social media company confirmed that some of its source code was leaked online, the New York Times reported
In a motion filed with the US District Court of the Northern District of California, Twitter said it asked the software development hosting service GitHub to remove the source code that was posted and GitHub complied.
Twitter is asking the court to identify the anonymous user or users that posted the source code without Twitter’s authorization, noting in the filing that the user’s post is a copyright infringement.
Source code is the fundamental computer code that runs the social network. Tech companies view the code as a closely-guarded secret and never share it out of fear that it could give an unfair advantage to its competitors or reveal any security vulnerabilities.
Last year, a group of hackers successfully stole source code from major tech companies including Microsoft. In 2020, self-driving car engineer Anthony Levandowski was sentenced to 18 months for stealing source code from Google. Levandowski was later pardoned by then-President Trump.
Brett Callow, an analyst at cybersecurity company Emsisoft, told the New York Times that the public posting of parts of Twitter’s source code is “concerning,” as it makes it “easier and speedier” for hackers to “probe for vulnerabilities.”
Earlier this month, Twitter CEO Elon Musk announced that he would make public the code Twitter uses to recommend tweets to allow anyone to scrutinize it for possible flaws. Musk said this process could help make Twitter’s code more secure.
Meanwhile, Musk has taken steps to prevent theft or leaks by disgruntled former Twitter employees who lost their jobs during his mass layoffs, including locking the Twitter offices and instructing employees not to come to work while the layoffs were underway. The company also barred engineers from making changes to the source code to ensure that nobody sabotages the code before being laid off.
The person who leaked Twitter’s source code goes by “FreeSpeechEnthusiast” on GitHub, according to the filing. The user’s GitHub profile shows only one contribution to the platform from early January. While dormant, the user profile remains online.