John McAfee Will Hack the San Bernardino Phone to Save America

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John McAfee Will Hack the San Bernardino Phone to Save America

John McAfee says his team of expert hackers will break into the San Bernardino phone, free of charge, to prevent the creation of a backdoor that will lead to the downfall of America.

Apple creating a backdoor for the iPhone will be the end of America. At least, according to John McAfee, cybersecurity expert, Libertarian presidential candidate, and quintessential eccentric millionaire. The smart solution, he says, is just to let him hack the phone. Don't worry, FBI - I got this.

What began as a an attempt to extract evidence from the phone of the San Bernardino shooter may have evolved into a decision on the future of cybersecurity, and preservation of American liberties - not to mention, America itself.

Apple's Tim Cook opposed the order from the FBI to create a backdoor for their smart phone. The potential software "would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone's physical possession," and though the FBI insists they would only use it once and only for this phone, it would set a dangerous precedent - not to mention, there is no way of guaranteeing that "once" part.

McAfee takes it several sprinting steps further. In a statement to Business Insider, he likens the creation of a backdoor to a pre-emptive surrender in an eventual cyber war.

Says McAfee: "This is a black day and the beginning of the end of the US as a world power. The government has ordered a disarmament of our already ancient cybersecurity and cyberdefense systems, and it is asking us to take a walk into that near horizon where cyberwar is unquestionably waiting, with nothing more than harsh words as a weapon and the hope that our enemies will take pity at our unarmed condition and treat us fairly."

"No matter how you slice this pie, if the government succeeds in getting this back door, it will eventually get a back door into all encryption, and our world, as we know it, is over. In spite of the FBI's claim that it would protect the back door, we all know that's impossible. There are bad apples everywhere, and there only needs to be [one] in the US government. Then a few million dollars, some beautiful women (or men), and a yacht trip to the Caribbean might be all it takes for our enemies to have full access to our secrets."

Why is the U.S. so behind on cybersecurity? "Because the FBI will not hire anyone with a 24-inch purple mohawk, 10-gauge ear piercings, and a tattooed face who demands to smoke weed while working and won't work for less than a half-million dollars a year. But you bet your ass that the Chinese and Russians are hiring similar people with similar demands and have been for many years. It's why we are decades behind in the cyber race."

But Apple and the United States need not worry - McAfee has assembled the best team of hackers on the planet. "I will, free of charge, decrypt the information on the San Bernardino phone, with my team. We will primarily use social engineering, and it will take us three weeks." That's quite the offer.

He also suggests that any doubters can google "cybersecurity legend" to see whose name comes up in the top ten results (it checks out), but really that just means he's good at SEO.

McAfee is a strange guy, sure, but it's hard to say he's entirely wrong about the backdoor program. Of course, should the FBI simply hand over the phone to him, well... let's hear what the Escapists have to say about that.

Source: Business Insider

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Complete nutcase, I love him.

Oh yeah, this is unnecessary, not only is the US government spying everyone, but acquiring the info through "social engineering" sounds rather fishy for a team of hackers. After that cyberhacker description, you'd think he'd say "social hacking".

What he says isn't complete gibberish, but is a good curtain for the info war that is waging behind the scenes as we speak.

They're still trying to unlock he San Bernardino shooters' iPhone? What do they care? They're dead!

Some days I like that guy. Other days I feel he's a person to keep a good distance from... Crazy genius in ways that scare me. The line is there and I don't know which side he stands on.

PatrickJS:
(Snip).

Possible typo in the 7th paragraph:

There are bad apples everywhere, and there only needs to be [one?] in the US government . . .

T3hSource:
(Snip).

'Social engineering' was described to me in a Security Fundamentals class as basically involving confidence tricks. It relies heavily on humans, which tend to be the weakest link in any security chain, and involves things like claiming to be someone you're not to gain access to stuff you shouldn't (phishing, pretexting). No idea how that plan of attack's going to help McAfee, though.

Is there a barely lucid, crack-addled, gun-toting millionaire developer creating security-compromising software that most people never wanted and will be completely uncontrollable if ever released?

Congratulations world, you're all about to get McAfee'd.

Darth_Payn:
They're still trying to unlock he San Bernardino shooters' iPhone? What do they care? They're dead!

Some would say the FBI is using it as an excuse to get the back door into iPhones that they have wanted for a long time.

This is whole thing is starting to sound more and more like some of my convoluted and over the top anime plots. I'm interested in what's the next move gonna be. The crazy genius millionaire is assembling a team of other crazy geniuses in order to fight the evil mastermind. They will be facing off a series of dangerous puzzles in order to save the world... get some potentially useful but certainly out of date information from the encrypted phone.

He sounds like a cool nutcase.

McAfee is a legend in his own life time, he walks where men dare to tread and did it all while high as a kite. frankly if the FBI were not litrtally trying to screw perosnal data security i'd say call his bluff I'm sure he'd do it somehow.

PatrickJS:
"Because the FBI will not hire anyone with a 24-inch purple mohawk, 10-gauge ear piercings, and a tattooed face who demands to smoke weed while working and won't work for less than a half-million dollars a year. But you bet your ass that the Chinese and Russians are hiring similar people with similar demands and have been for many years. It's why we are decades behind in the cyber race."

Of course the FBI aren't hiring people like that. They're smart enough to train their own people before they go looking for shadowrunners.

Imperioratorex Caprae:
Some days I like that guy. Other days I feel he's a person to keep a good distance from... Crazy genius in ways that scare me. The line is there and I don't know which side he stands on.

He doesn't stand on either side, or even in the middle. He's doing cartwheels up and down the line with a vuvuzela in his mouth.

Anti-American Eagle:

PatrickJS:
"Because the FBI will not hire anyone with a 24-inch purple mohawk, 10-gauge ear piercings, and a tattooed face who demands to smoke weed while working and won't work for less than a half-million dollars a year. But you bet your ass that the Chinese and Russians are hiring similar people with similar demands and have been for many years. It's why we are decades behind in the cyber race."

Of course the FBI aren't hiring people like that. They're smart enough to train their own people before they go looking for shadowrunners.

right because as we all know the FBI is on par with Red Samurai and has absolutely no skill problems whatsoever

Anti-American Eagle:

PatrickJS:
"Because the FBI will not hire anyone with a 24-inch purple mohawk, 10-gauge ear piercings, and a tattooed face who demands to smoke weed while working and won't work for less than a half-million dollars a year. But you bet your ass that the Chinese and Russians are hiring similar people with similar demands and have been for many years. It's why we are decades behind in the cyber race."

Of course the FBI aren't hiring people like that. They're smart enough to train their own people before they go looking for shadowrunners.

Sorry, man. FastJack won't be born for another 20 years or so..

I really have trouble understanding how he plans to break into that phone via social engineering. The terrorist who locked that phone is dead and the password was reset by the owner idiotically trying to get access to it on his own. So how is social engineering gonna help in this case?

Ncrdrg:
I really have trouble understanding how he plans to break into that phone via social engineering. The terrorist who locked that phone is dead and the password was reset by the owner idiotically trying to get access to it on his own. So how is social engineering gonna help in this case?

Simple, he will go back in time and socially engineer the guy before hes dead. Think before you post.

Mcafee has been crazy for years, but hes an entertaining crazy that is good for headlines. Well, hes entertaining since hes not in this country anymore. I imagine living next to him would be somewhat less fun.

I'm not entirely convinced that John McAfee is even a real person at this point. I mean, I'm sure he was a real person at one point, but I think he's taken so many drugs he's lifted off and ascended into the realm of imagination.

Go you crazy bastard, go! :D

....seriously though, hasn't this guy been deemed clinically insane?

Top man. It's nice to see someone not crying about privacy for a change and getting shit done.

So tel me if i get this right, He offers to hack the iPhone to prevent Apple being forced by the government to build in a backdoor.
But won't him being successful prove to the FBI they don't need the backdoor to begin with.

I have no doubt in the knowledge and skill(just about his sanity), but there a others that are just as good, and some are on the FBI (and other agencies) pay roll.

I usually like being optimistic, but I have a funny feeling about this.

The FBI already has the backdoor, either because they came up with it on their own, or because Apple already gave it to them.

Apple claims that they refused to give the FBI the backdoor. They get positive press. Everybody shits on the FBI, but the FBI couldn't give less of a damn. They don't need to be liked to do their job.

McAfee knows neither of the above two things, but takes advantage of the situation. The FBI politely declines his offer, but his fans give him a thumbs up for fighting The Man.

Everybody wins!

Okay, so I'm mostly joking. This guy is crazy. Is there a movie about him yet?

Anti-American Eagle:

PatrickJS:
"Because the FBI will not hire anyone with a 24-inch purple mohawk, 10-gauge ear piercings, and a tattooed face who demands to smoke weed while working and won't work for less than a half-million dollars a year. But you bet your ass that the Chinese and Russians are hiring similar people with similar demands and have been for many years. It's why we are decades behind in the cyber race."

Of course the FBI aren't hiring people like that. They're smart enough to train their own people before they go looking for shadowrunners.

I doubt it. China (hello Donald Trump) has been hiring people like that for years and lets them do all sorts of shenanigans. Do you think the FBI is "smart" enough to train their own people to such a high standard while China isn't?

RiseOfTheWhiteWolf:

Anti-American Eagle:

PatrickJS:
"Because the FBI will not hire anyone with a 24-inch purple mohawk, 10-gauge ear piercings, and a tattooed face who demands to smoke weed while working and won't work for less than a half-million dollars a year. But you bet your ass that the Chinese and Russians are hiring similar people with similar demands and have been for many years. It's why we are decades behind in the cyber race."

Of course the FBI aren't hiring people like that. They're smart enough to train their own people before they go looking for shadowrunners.

I doubt it. China (hello Donald Trump) has been hiring people like that for years and lets them do all sorts of shenanigans. Do you think the FBI is "smart" enough to train their own people to such a high standard while China isn't?

But China got a lot more resources. Put a bunch of Asian kids in front of a laptop and give them an infinite amount of time and they will eventually bang out an encryption key. Wait, that was chimps, typewriters and Shakespeare. Carry on.

OT: As others have already said,I do love reading about the crazy ramblings from this man. I never even know when he's being serious and when he's going for comedy.

Never mind the encryption skills or the integrity of the FBI - among other agencies - I don't buy that they can keep the key to themselves. Government secrets seem to have no trouble flying out of the vaults and into the public domain. How long before the next Manning or Snowden releases the key for all to use? Less idealistically, how long before the next Robert Hanssen sells it to a foreign power?

Yopaz:

RiseOfTheWhiteWolf:

Anti-American Eagle:

Of course the FBI aren't hiring people like that. They're smart enough to train their own people before they go looking for shadowrunners.

I doubt it. China (hello Donald Trump) has been hiring people like that for years and lets them do all sorts of shenanigans. Do you think the FBI is "smart" enough to train their own people to such a high standard while China isn't?

But China got a lot more resources. Put a bunch of Asian kids in front of a laptop and give them an infinite amount of time and they will eventually bang out an encryption key. Wait, that was chimps, typewriters and Shakespeare. Carry on.

OT: As others have already said,I do love reading about the crazy ramblings from this man. I never even know when he's being serious and when he's going for comedy.

I'm not so sure about that m8, most youths in China only have internet access when they go to a cafe.

chocolate pickles:
Top man. It's nice to see someone not crying about privacy for a change and getting shit done.

I'll give him A for effort and spirit, buuuuuuuut... Acquiring the unlock code for the iPhone of a dead person through social engineering? How does he even?

That's awesome, way to be a good human Mr. Mcafee. Hack that shit! :D

If this works, I full expect we'll be getting at least a couple movies based around this whole situation in the relatively near future. It's too good a story not to.

On the other hand, even if it doesn't work, we still might get a movie or two out of it, it'll just be far more likely to come out as a full-on tragedy, especially if the FBI gets that backdoor they're demanding.

Kajin:
I'm not entirely convinced that John McAfee is even a real person at this point. I mean, I'm sure he was a real person at one point, but I think he's taken so many drugs he's lifted off and ascended into the realm of imagination.

Well he did make this video:

Hero in a half shell:
Well he did make this video:

Holy crap, the start of that video is hilarious. XDDD Make me wonder if he secretly isn't nearly as insane as he looks.

Arnoxthe1:
Make me wonder if he secretly isn't nearly as insane as he looks.

Before you make that assumption, remember the he claims he inhaled an "unknown substance" while working at NASA that caused him to live the entirety of another life in his before returning to the real world.

The man is off the wall bonkers.

And I kind of admire that.

Hero in a half shell:

Well he did make this video:

That was awesome.

OT; His statement, or whenever anyone mentions the FBI in general, always remind me of how more than a few of their employees have been busted using federal resources to spy on their wives/husbands, and how some have even to be found stalking people.

I "love" how no one has actually read the court order. Theres no back door involved. The court order basicly says "oi. Apple. Take this one phone to your lab. Put a custom firmware on this one phone. Turn remote access on for the fbi. The phone remains in your possession so the fbi can't get access to anything but the files on the phone. And we'll even pay you for your time "

HomuraDidNothinWrong:
I "love" how no one has actually read the court order. Theres no back door involved. The court order basicly says "oi. Apple. Take this one phone to your lab. Put a custom firmware on this one phone. Turn remote access on for the fbi. The phone remains in your possession so the fbi can't get access to anything but the files on the phone. And we'll even pay you for your time "

It's a matter of people recognizing that this part of a Wedge Strategy, not an isolated event. You seem to be missing that either through ignorance, or intentionally. Welcome to the War on Privacy.

You also can't seem to read the facts surrounding the case, such as the fact that the FBI doesn't need this done in the first place.

https://twitter.com/snowden/status/700823383961792512
image

Interesting. I can see where he is coming from and it does not take any stretch of the imagination to believe that nations are already testing each other's cyber-defenses. Maybe even causing some deliberate damage here and there.

chocolate pickles:
Top man. It's nice to see someone not crying about privacy for a change

That is our job, to cry about stand up for privacy.

chocolate pickles:

and getting shit done.

The former does not negate the latter.

BiH-Kira:
This is whole thing is starting to sound more and more like some of my convoluted and over the top anime plots. I'm interested in what's the next move gonna be. The crazy genius millionaire is assembling a team of other crazy geniuses in order to fight the evil mastermind. They will be facing off a series of dangerous puzzles in order to save the world... get some potentially useful but certainly out of date information from the encrypted phone.

He sounds like a cool nutcase.

He sounds like a Croft. not the young one that backflips over enemies while aiming for center mass, but the old decrepit one with all the money and crazy secrets that left his daughter his estate.

RiseOfTheWhiteWolf:

Yopaz:

RiseOfTheWhiteWolf:

I doubt it. China (hello Donald Trump) has been hiring people like that for years and lets them do all sorts of shenanigans. Do you think the FBI is "smart" enough to train their own people to such a high standard while China isn't?

But China got a lot more resources. Put a bunch of Asian kids in front of a laptop and give them an infinite amount of time and they will eventually bang out an encryption key. Wait, that was chimps, typewriters and Shakespeare. Carry on.

OT: As others have already said,I do love reading about the crazy ramblings from this man. I never even know when he's being serious and when he's going for comedy.

I'm not so sure about that m8, most youths in China only have internet access when they go to a cafe.

China: population of 1.3 billions.
United States of America: population of 0.3 billions.
It's all in the numbers m8.

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