Pater ‘Mudge’ Zatko: Berklee School of Music Top
Zatko, 51, was born in December 1970 and is a skilled guitarist — so good that he graduated with honors from Berklee School of Music in 1992. However, passion outweighed his talent. and he switched tunes from guitar to cybersecurity. “Mudge” is his hacker nickname.
In 1995, Zatko published How to Write Buffer Overflows, one of the first articles on the topic of buffer overflows, a type of cybersecurity vulnerability. His article paved the way for “buffer overflow” research. Not only that, Zatko published some of the first security advisories and studies demonstrating early vulnerabilities in Unix such as code injection, side-channel attacks, and information leaks. In addition, he was a leader in the full disclosure movement, the practice of independent researchers to publish their analysis of software vulnerabilities as early as possible, making the data available to everyone without restrictions.
The hacker who alerted the US government in 1998
He became a household name in cyberspace after developing the venerable L0phtCrack password cracker for Windows in July 1997. hackers who, as early as 1998, warned a US Senate committee about fundamental flaws in the infrastructure of the Internet. He predicted the DoS attacks that began to regularly hit the Internet at the dawn of the millennium, and he was invited to the Summit in 2000.
During his tenure at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the division of the U.S. Department of Defense responsible for developing new technologies for use by the military, Mudge created the Cyber Intelligence Framework, which the agency used to evaluate DoD investments in offensive and protective cybersecurity. In addition, he directed at least three Department of Defense programs – Military Network Protocol (MNP), Cyber-Insider Threat (CINDER) and Cyber Fast Track (CFT).
Jack Dorsey’s Valuable Recruit
On July 15, 2020, 130 high-profile Twitter accounts, including those of Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Kanye West, were compromised by third parties to promote Bitcoin scams, resulting in a major hack and public shaming for Twitter. It was then that Jack Dorsey, then CEO of Twitter, sought out Zatko to spearhead an approach to the microblogging site’s information security. And Zatko reportedly joined Twitter because he considered the platform a “critical resource” for the world.
However, when Parag Agrawal took over as CEO late last year, Zatko reportedly became frustrated with Agrawal’s failure to address the company’s many security flaws. He told The Washington Post that the exposure was part of his commitment to Jack Dorsey. “This will never be my first step, but I believe that I am still fulfilling my obligations to Jack and the users of the platform. I want to finish the job that Jack brought me in to do, which is to improve this place,” he says.