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John McAfee is developing a $100 device to block the NSA

By Shawn Knight ยท 27 replies
Sep 30, 2013
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  1. During a recent chat at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center, Antivirus software founder John McAfee unveiled plans to create a gadget called the D-Central which he claims can keep your information safe from the National Security Agency.

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    cliffordcooley likes this.
  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,417   +3,434

    If there ever is such a device created, I'll give it one year before it is considered against the law to use. And only 3 weeks before, John McAfee is found dead in a road ditch.
    avoidz and spencer like this.
  3. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,806   +1,211

    That last bit has nearly happened already, but McAfee isn't giving any details.
  4. Matt12345170

    Matt12345170 TS Booster Posts: 105   +31

    Sounds like a Wireless LAN with loads of encryption. This is new?
  5. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,800   +460

    Yes in the land of the free, the US, you ironically won't have the right to privacy :)

    Hopefully real democracies won't prevent such a device from existing. Sounds a little bit like a new TOR.
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,761   +2,432

    You don't find McAfee in a ditch, I think he's the guy that leaves other people in a ditch.
  7. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,417   +3,434

    captaincranky You might be right about that, he survived that last ordeal somehow.
  8. It's called 'a piece of paper'.

    Good one John. $100.
  9. ensabrenoir

    ensabrenoir TS Rookie

    Wow.... his story just keeps getting better and better...Whats next John Macafee
  10. avoidz

    avoidz TS Guru Posts: 460   +55

    Does it come with Oh-Hungee? --
  11. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,726   +378

    Given I consider McAffee antivirus software to be more detrimental to my computer's performance than virii and adware I'm not sure I'd be keen to stick a McAffee device into my home network.
  12. @ Arris : Proprietary operating systems and software are detrimental to your system.
  13. veLa

    veLa TS Evangelist Posts: 774   +221

    Yeah man a $100 device is going to stop the best computer scientists & engineers over at the NSA.
  14. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,270

    John McAfee, forever the opportunist. That and a bit of business smarts made him a rich man.
  15. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,800   +460

    If it implements best practices encryption, there is a high chance that it would be able to. Snowden confirmed current encryption algorithms are actually strong enough to stop the NSA snooping. They would look for other weaknesses in the chain such as hacking an endpoint or MITM attacks if older or broken implementations used etc.
  16. DRCAL

    DRCAL TS Rookie

    His device would have to use KBA's which are knowledge-based algorithms which were first developed by a company named Conversion Technologies, Inc. (CTI) from 1985-2001. The company was administratively shut down for lack of funds because of the death of its financier and the bubble bursting. I was one of the founders of CTI and now control the rights to the KBA's through a different company. KBA's were originally used to develop a new generation of knowledge-based systems (a form of AI systems), which were and are designed to be much more robust than conventional application software programs. With some modification, which was presented to NSA in 2000-2001, KBA's developed systems can be made almost totally secure even from the fastest supercomputers as the breath of all human knowledge including mathematics cannot be comprehended by any machine if the KBA's are in a dynamic state of flux.
    Of course, the trade secret is how to develop the secure KBA's, what they are, and how they operate. Thus, there will be no simple device but a complex set of ever changing KBA's needed to secure all networks.
    Incidentally, I have personally felt the blocking actions by both governments and corporations to stop any financing of secure KBA network technology. The obvious reason can only be that they wanted to spy on the public and so like things as they are now.
    In my previous discussions with NSA representatives, they wouldn't fund the development of secure network KBA's to protect US infrastructure from cyber attacks. This was one of the original goals and uses for KBA's. Now, as the result of an overemphasis on spying for national security instead of a having a balance to also secure privacy, almost all of US weapons and technology secrets have been compromised and the national electricity grid is vulnerable.
    Shame on the people who are responsible for their unbalanced policy approach.
  17. So are open source operating systems and software.
  18. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,800   +460

    Well the cat is out of the bag wrt NSA spying. Other states are now looking into protecting their data so hopefully technologies like what you are referring to hopefully will start to see the light of day.
  19. DRCAL

    DRCAL TS Rookie

    I am not opposed to open source after the original investors are paid back $840,000 in R&D investment. What we want is our money back. We don't even want interest on our original investment.
    After the investors are paid, I can do anything that I want with the software. I would release the basics on how to build KBAs and related technology so that KB systems would eventually replace most legacy systems.
    Both Microsoft and IBM had negotiated with me in the past to buy the exclusive rights to the transformational technology. We were asking $25 million at the time.
    IBM decided to buy another company while Microsoft spent $1 billion in its failed effort trying to replicate the technology. One of the keys to the technology that gets missed is that it involves non-linear thinking similar to the way the problem with the atom was solved. Thus, KBAs and the KBS development process is not straight forward. It demands unconventional thinking. Incidentally, CTI failed on its first attempt, much to my dismay. However, our second attempt was successful.
  20. Since when is Open Source detrimental to your computer? You do realize the majority of websites run on Linux servers which are the flagship product of the Open Source community. All Android phones run on a stripped down Linux OS. Software being Open Source doesn't mean its insecure, it means the source is open for inspection and easy patching. Anyone can see how the software is built and if they have the knowledge, can improve it and submit patches to the creator/maintainer, or fork the software and continue developing the software in a different direction. That's why we have so many versions of Linux and BSD, and why they are so secure.

    If you are talking about Open Source encryption algorithms, they are not insecure. Its simple software used to generate and interpret keys generated using completely random information and known information "shared key" that both parties use to encrypt and decrypt the sent info.

    Stop spreading FUD and learn something about the systems you interact with every day.
  21. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,800   +460

    I think he was just trolling...
  22. DRCAL

    DRCAL TS Rookie

    I think that you missed my point. In no way did I attack Open Source. I was just sharing a corporate obstacle to sharing, that investors who were owed money needed to be paid BEFORE anything could be shared. It is a constraint. I am all for more innovation and creativity, but initial development costs need to be repaid according to a prior legal agreement. Consequently, sharing is not an option at this time.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  23. Your statement is absolutely rubbish. I currently run Adobe Photoshop, HyperSnap, Offline Explorer Pro, and PowerArchiver. All of them are what you described as proprietary, yet none of them are detrimental to my system. If anything, the open source alternatives out there are detrimental to my system since the quality of these software are vastly abysmal compared to their proprietary counterparts.

    Stop spreading this nonsense about proprietary being detrimental to your system. As I've mentioned previously, open source aren't always inherently better than closed source.
  24. CLASYS

    CLASYS TS Rookie

    A lot of pretty bad misinformation here. Some relevant facts:

    1) Regardless of past history, everything in the computer business is in the now. Really good companies become sucky companies and then [possibly] come back again. As an airline once said:"we have to earn our wings every day".

    2) McAffee antivirus etc. is probably the only well-known program in the antivirus/antimalware industry that can make Norton/Symantec's crap look good by comparison. These two are dinosaurs of the industry that duke it out while IT pros laugh at both of them. They are overpriced and underperforming and overhead-ridden needlessly. The little companies like aVast! that are winning that war, and that includes companies many people have never heard of such as SuperAntiSpyware and MalwareBytes. In fact, the cheesy names causes another problem: fake antimalware programs that to an ***** are indistinguishable from the small white-hat companies so the gen-pop downloads more malware claiming to be anti-malware, etc.

    3) Any reputation that anything or anyone named McAfee or Norton/Symantec whatever has no reputation as these are no longer the original programs; today they are big businesses who buy up small operations just to plunder them.

    Anyone remember IBM AntiVirus? It had problems only because it was not well-managed, didn't have a realistic way to get updated, and largely a limitation of the times when the Internet was underused and largely unusable due to insufficient bandwidth to get the updates out to users. That process evolved for all such that for the most part, you can just assume programs perform their own updates; you have a right to those expectations.

    But the point is this: IBM's program [well, they also bought some little guy out actually] had a novel feature: A concept of a faster way to know that most of your files are secure: If this is the first time a file is encountered, it needs the full treatment of course. But after the first time, all you need is a way to prove that the file is UNCHANGED since it was last tested [unless of course the database is radically different; refinements obviously had to be developed to know what was sufficient upgrade of the database or not, etc. In any case, all secondary scans were radically faster because there is a way to do small samples of a file by some encrypted method to prove that a file is unchanged a whole lot faster than checking it thoroughly, thus, the secondary scans were dramatically better.

    Why mention this? Because while Mcafee didn't get their hands on this gem as bumbling IBM was starting to sell off most of their assets [they are a very different company now, and arguably the worse off for that whole set of changes], Symantec did. They then hyped up the fact that they indeed did buy it, and made the brazen lying claim that the "best parts" of it were being added to the Norton product. Except of course, that never happened; they merely buried a superior competitor's product to mediocritize the entire industry. Without that innovative leader, they all could have a crappier product and get away with it.

    Now of course, today they are both irrelevant, you can get better performance anywhere else, but you can't pay more for it [that's almost a famous putdown of IBM: You can get better anywhere else, but you can't pay more.]

    So, that Mcafee's directly owned company might have had a product that some liked and smaller numbers that could defend it technically against competitors is beyond irrelevant. Today, this man is a figurehead trading on his company name; bring it out by all means, and if it works and Obama doesn't block it, fine. Just don't muddy the waters here; the more you think some old-guard company WAS good in this somewhat sleazy business, the more it doesn't matter.

    Also, another point: It seems that much of the way anti-malware programs work is they "somehow" get the inside dope on what the bad hats are doing. I suggest they pay snitches, especially in eastern Europe. anyone remember RAV? Seems Microsoft bought it out just to shut it down. All these big companies are the same theme, level the playing field downward so they can sell more, true innovation is to be ridiculed. Some of the tinier white-hat companies are less than 3 people total [and that includes the web designer].
  25. Shut up and take my money!!!

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