Twitter Says Source Code Was Leaked on GitHub, Now It’s Trying to Find the Culprit

Zakhi Mgutshini
Mar 27, 2023
Updated • Mar 27, 2023
Apps, Security

Twitter seems to have had its fair share of troubles this year. We see their CEO hinting that he would be stepping down and we noted in February users were struggling to tweet as the platform seemed to have a few issues with TweetDeck. 

  • The New York Times recently reported that Twitter’s source code was leaked online via GitHub. They were taken down after Twitter filed a DMCA request. GitHub published this request online and mentioned that proprietary source code for Twitter was included in the leaked information exposing internal tools. 

The NYT also mentioned that the source codes may have been public for several months before being removed. Although the profile associated with the DMCA takedown lists a single code that isn’t public. Twitter has taken a further step and asked for the names and IP addresses of anyone who could have possibly downloaded the code. 

A source code is an integral part of the development of any software. Proprietary source codes are also amongst the company’s closely held trade secrets. Therefore revealing it exposes and makes the company vulnerable to possible attackers and also gives competitors an advantage because they can see all the internal work being done. Source codes have been a common target for hackers in the past in companies such as Microsoft.

In addition to asking GitHub to take down the code Twitter also submitted a court filing in California where the attempt is to try and find the person responsible and also to get information on any other GitHub users who may have downloaded the information. Bloomberg reports that the filing asks GitHub users to reveal, telephone numbers,  usernames, addresses, social media profiles, emails, and IP addresses.

NYT says Twitter's executives are suspecting a former employee may be responsible for the leak. On that note considering the mass layoffs of thousands of employees early in the year it could just be about anyone. Twitter has implemented some code freezers on suspicion that former employees may want to sabotage the business. 

Github's spokesperson didn't respond to the question of whether they would comply with the request made by Twitter. An email also sent to Twitter had an auto-generated poop emoji ? in response. 

The news on the source code leak comes just a few days before Twitter is supposed to open source “all code used to recommend Tweets.” This is supposed to take place on March 31st. Although open-sourcing is nothing compared to revealing the company's proprietary code. 

Twitter has been through some tough times since its acquisition by Elon Musk last year. he paid $44 billion for Twitter which is now worth just $20 billion. Could this be due to his attempts to revamp the social media platform by focusing on building new revenue opportunities and cost-cutting? It seems his attempts have had some negative impact on the platform causing some severe outages and interruptions.


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  1. Jake said on March 30, 2023 at 6:08 pm

    Was this article AI generated? There’s a lot of grammar issues and odd sentences.

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