Sections of Twitter’s underlying code on which it runs was leaked online, and its soft code shared on GitHub, an internet hosting service that helps developers store and manage their code, according to a legal filing reported by The New York Times.
On Friday, Twitter sent a copyright infringement notice to GitHub, which took it down the same day. Although it isn’t clear exactly how long the leaked code had been online, signs point to it being at least several months.
The filing also reveals that Twitter had contacted the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, asking it to investigate who specifically shared the code and any others who downloaded it. Twitter has since launched an internal investigation into uncovering the source of the leak, and has learned that the culprit responsible left the company last year, the Times reports. That casts a very wide net, as approximately 75% of Twitter’s 7,500 employees have resigned or were laid off in that time since Elon Musk’s purchase of the company for $44 billion in October 2022.
According to the Times, a big concern for Twitter is that with security vulnerabilities now exposed, it could have given hackers an easy way into mining user data or even shutting down the site altogether.
This news comes as Musk continues to face fiscal and structural challenges with the social networking platform. According to a senior reporter at The Verge, Musk told employees on March 25 that the company is now valued at $20 billion, which is less than half of the $44 billion he paid for it in October 2022.
And Musk had Twitter users up in arms Friday after he announced that the platform will be pulling the plug on legacy verified accounts’ blue check marks, which has historically indicated whether the account represents a notable person or brand, but now will belong to paid subscribers only.
“On April 1st, we will begin winding down our legacy verified program and removing legacy verified checkmarks. To keep your blue checkmark on Twitter, individuals can sign up for Twitter Blue here,” Twitter’s account, Twitter Verified, tweeted Thursday.
“So after EVERYTHING WE HAD TO DO TO BE ACTUALLY VERIFIED ALL THE SUBMISSIONS ALL THE REJECTIONS ALL THE PRESS…YALL JUST READY FOR TWITTER TO NOT MEAN ANYTHING,” one user responded, while others thought it might just be an April fool’s joke.