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John McAfee says he'll decrypt the San Bernardino iPhone for free with his team of super hackers

By midian182 · 119 replies
Feb 19, 2016
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  1. John McAfee, developer of the first commercial anti-virus program and current presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party, has entered the debate surrounding Apple’s refusal to create a backdoor that will enable the FBI to access the iPhone 5c used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook.

    McAfee, who has been no stranger to controversy in recent years, has offered to unlock the iPhone in question free of charge. He says he’ll be able to do this with his team of “prodigies” who possess “talents that defy normal human comprehension.”

    The way that the eccentric millionaire describes his crew makes them sound like they are straight out of 90’s movie Hackers. McAfee says it’s because of their “24-inch purple mohawk(s), 10-gauge ear piercings” and “tattooed face(s)” that these “best hackers on the planet” don’t work for the FBI. They also demand half-a-million dollars a year and smoke weed while they work, apparently. He added that only 25 percent of the team are hardcore coders, the rest are social engineers.

    If McAfee and his cyber A-team can’t crack the iPhone, which, he says, will be achieved primarily using social engineering and take three weeks, he has offered to eat his shoe on the Neil Cavuto show.

    In the op-ed article that McAfree wrote for Business Insider, he joins the rest of the tech world in supporting Tim Cook’s decision to not make an iPhone backdoor for authorities to access the device. He claims that if this happens, it would be “the beginning of the end of the US as a world power.”

    McAfee finished off by saying that if the FBI doubted his ability to do the job, they just need to Google ‘Cybersecurity legend’ and “see whose name is the only name that appears in the first 10 results out of more than a quarter of a million.”

    Permalink to story.

  2. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,219   +1,657

    I'm honestly not sure how to feel about him. But I wouldn't mind seeing him eat his own shoe. XD
  3. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,531   +3,100

    Sounds exactly the opposite, like FBI's hired hackers.

    He was probably just selling that line to politicians who very well might buy it. In the end though, everything is possible, even to find out that McAfee himself has ties to FBI.
  4. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,286

    McAfee? He's one shady character, I wouldn't blame the FBI one bit if they avoided him like the plague.
    Rocky Raccoon and Lonewolf12 like this.
  5. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,929   +712

    Gotta love this guy, "Google 'Cybersecurity legend' and "see whose name is the only name that appears in the first 10 results out of more than a quarter of a million."" Do any other hackers take such a title and run with it as their own? Google "Cybersecurity legend" and McAfee's name is the only one. Google top 10 hackers and he's not on the list... But really I just want to see him eat his own shoe and could care less what he's calling himself. If successful Apple will just up the security on their devices, unless the bill is passed that mandates cell phones have backdoors, which if happen would mean all my personal information will have to be removed from mine.
  6. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,822   +420

    Google yourself much?

    Lol, yup, this is my only reply to this article. :pP
    Rocky Raccoon likes this.
  7. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,822   +420

    What about other phones? They already have the backdoor? lol
  8. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,504   +3,898

    If what I am reading is correct, Apple is the only one that has that feature. There is one other specialized phone that claims it cannot be hacked, but I think in general, most are open to a skilled technician ...
  9. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,219   +1,657

    BTW mystery solved :p
    drufense and wastedkill like this.
  10. sac39507

    sac39507 TS Addict Posts: 254   +99

    Why hasn't his team of "prodigies" stop virus attacks in general. If I had "talents that defy human comprehension," I would put a halt to the sources of viruses. Then again, it may be like the battle with cancer. There exists a cure but if the cure is implemented, how do you make money?
    Lonewolf12 likes this.
  11. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,004   +1,557

    If it were that simple, don't you think the FBI et al would have done that by now?
    Bet if he touches it, he'll trigger the Wipe function!!!

    You can fool some of the people all the time,
      and fool all the people some of the time,
        but you can't fool all the people all the time.
    Lonewolf12 likes this.
  12. seeprime

    seeprime TS Guru Posts: 396   +423

    The FBI isn't trying to decrypt the phone. They want one-time custom firmware loaded that allows unlimited brute force PIN entries. Otherwise, the phone will be wiped after ten failed PIN entries.
  13. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,004   +1,557

    Interesting; The thread topic is the only other place we find 'decrypt' other than your comment :grin: So what's the beef?
  14. acgogo

    acgogo TS Rookie

    News Flash! The backdoor to Apple's software already exists. If you think you are NOT being monitored by Apple Inc. every second you are on your phone, you are naive to say the least. Encryption is a complete myth. Your enemy is not "the government". It is the large multi-national corporations that collect and control all the data.
  15. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,477   +644

    Why would he try to stop viruses that is how he made most of his fortune.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  16. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,929   +712

    Wait for it...

    So what exactly did you mean in your first post?

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,735   +825

    I can certainly agree with not letting the government have the ability to decrypt any device they want, as it could be abused and further violate the peoples rights. But if this has already gone through the judicial process and a warrant has been issued Apple should decrypt the device.
  18. Ziffel

    Ziffel TS Booster Posts: 75   +62

    Translation: John McAfee would like to be in the news again. He can always count on the media to post stories of his insane ramblings.
    MonarchDragon and Lonewolf12 like this.
  19. MonsterZero

    MonsterZero TS Evangelist Posts: 568   +324

    He says he'll do it for free, but I have feeling there's money behind it. How else is he supposed to support his habit of smoking bath salts before public interviews?
  20. tbjamies

    tbjamies TS Rookie

    He could of fixed himself up a bit before making a statement. Yowza
  21. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,506   +5,072

    I'm actually happy he is down to earth and didn't feel it necessary.

    I can't stand a neck tie wearing snob! If they actually decided to do real work (you know the work load that keeps us alive), the neck tie would have to go. But yet to present themselves in public, they must first wear a hang noose. Meanwhile it is fully acceptable for a woman to wear whatever she wants or practically nothing at all. Damn, what a double standard.
  22. Jack007

    Jack007 TS Booster Posts: 187   +44

    No kidding. I have heard of super hackers and seen none. you know why cause they are nonexistent. its a joke. ios operating system can be decrypted by any serious script monkey. thats a known fact in the coding world
  23. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 15,072   +4,080

    Well at least his look hasn't gotten too out of hand. For example, he could have gone with something like this:

    Or for a Saturday night press conference, something "almost" over the top. Like this:


    All of that notwithstanding, I don't think any of those three are natural blondes....;)
  24. mantissteam

    mantissteam TS Member Posts: 54   +21

    Who else thought that was Al Pacino
    captaincranky likes this.
  25. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 15,072   +4,080

    Good eye:

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