Twitter has suffered a data leak, with some of its source code uploaded to GitHub by a user named “FreeSpeechEnthusiast.” The social media site, controlled by billionaire Elon Musk, is now on the lookout for the person responsible. According to a legal filing, the code was removed from GitHub on Twitter’s instruction. The filing asks the US District Court for the Northern District of California to order Github to provide “all identifying information” connected to the user. The leak could cause problems for Musk, who bought Twitter for $44bn last October and has since faced challenges including massive layoffs and advertisers leaving the site.
Leaks of source code can be especially concerning for companies because they can give criminals the opportunity to find and exploit security flaws and vulnerabilities. It has filed for a subpoena at the US District Court for the Northern District of California in the hope that Github will hand over IP addresses, contact information, and access logs associated with the incident.
According to the filing, Twitter is seeking the DMCA subpoena in order to “obtain the identity of an alleged infringer or infringer, and such information will only be used for the purpose of protecting Twitter’s rights.” Meanwhile, Github has declined to comment on the matter, stating that it publicly posts all copyright takedown requests and referring to Twitter’s request. Twitter, which has cut much of its public relations team under Musk, has not yet responded to requests for comment.
The leak comes as Musk seeks to make changes to the social media platform he purchased last year, with the aim of reversing a sharp decline in revenues. Musk has blamed the decline on advertisers leaving the venue due to concerns about hate speech and reputational risks. He has also sought to push the company’s subscription service, Twitter Blue, as an alternative revenue stream, and has suggested that Twitter will charge fees for other software applications to access its platform.
On Saturday, reports surfaced of an internal memo by Musk outlining employee stock awards, which suggested that Twitter was valued at about $20bn, less than half the amount Musk paid for the company. He also tweeted that prior to his changes, Twitter had just $1bn in cash, representing about four months’ worth of expenses and that things were looking up.