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  • John McAfee enters the fray: 'I'll decrypt the San Bernardino iPhone for free'

John McAfee enters the fray: 'I'll decrypt the San Bernardino iPhone for free'

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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John McAfee enters the fray: 'I'll decrypt the San Bernardino iPhone for free'

With all the brouhaha surrounding the order that Apple opens up the iPhone 5c of the San Bernardino shooter, one would think that the FBI has no other way to find out what's in it, rather than that it's just being desperate for a backdoor into iPhones, and using this highly public matter as a pretext.

Apple's CEO Tim Cook already rebuffed the FBI's advances, and Google's Sundar Pichai stand firmly behind him. This might turn out to be the grandest standoff yet between the Silicon Valley, where companies are under tremendous pressure for providing ways to access personal communication executed with iOS, Android or Windows devices, and the federal government, the source of that same pressure.

Enter John McAfee, of McAfee Antivirus and expat debauchery fame. In his typical brash style, McAfee is now offering to decrypt the San Bernadino terrorist's phone absolutely for free, so long as the Feds leave Apple alone with the backdoor requests. The legendary hacker has issued a lengthy open letter to offer his services, which boils down to this:

So here is my offer to the FBI. I will, for free, decrypt the information on the San Bernardino phone, with my team. We will primarily use social engineering and it will take us three weeks. If you accept my offer, then you will not need to ask Apple to place a back door in their product, which will be the beginning of the end of America. If you doubt my credentials, Google “Cybersecurity legend” and see whose name is the only name that appears in the first ten results out of over a quarter of a million.
=

There you have it, FBI, ball's in your court, and you can read the whole of John McAfee's statement below. After all, he is a presidential candidate from the Libertarian party, too, so he's not taking personal freedom and privacy issues lightly.

+- Press Release

source: BI

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72 Comments
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posted on 18 Feb 2016, 08:43 20

1. yoosufmuneer (Posts: 1498; Member since: 14 Feb 2015)


Lol Who actually Googled "Cybersecurity Legend" just to verify his claim

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 08:49 6

2. neops (Posts: 287; Member since: 28 Jan 2014)


Maybe... yoo?

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 10:24 1

30. j2001m (Posts: 2943; Member since: 28 Apr 2014)


I did say it will not take an hacker very long to hack the phone the other day

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 12:44

47. AlikMalix (Posts: 5915; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)


For a team like mcaffee, it would take 3 weeks (as he stated)... That's a very very long time. Bro, I can wipe my phone remotely in 10 seconds from any device that has Internet. Really really not worried about my phone being hacked now.

On the other note: anyone know what he meant by "using social engineering" to hack into it?

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 15:01

62. mrmessma (Posts: 186; Member since: 28 Mar 2012)


For everybody out there, he's either trolling or being sarcastic about the social engineering question.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 09:20 2

8. natypes (Posts: 1093; Member since: 02 Feb 2015)


I certainly did. lol no shame

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 09:29 1

12. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 2501; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


Highlighted and searched it and he is right the non-ad results on the first page are all about him, and only one result on the second page isn't about him.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 09:45

18. keekai05 (Posts: 116; Member since: 31 Mar 2015)


Me LOL

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 10:19

29. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 10115; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


I did. So?!

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 09:01 4

3. dmh0284 (Posts: 42; Member since: 04 Apr 2014)


Will he also bog the phone down and make it unusable for free?

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 13:48

57. murphslaws (Posts: 54; Member since: 22 Apr 2015)


hes not affiliated with the anti-virus.. hasnt been for a long time.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 09:01 16

4. lyndon420 (Posts: 4403; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


I doubt the feds will take him up on this offer. They want backdoor access to all phones not just one.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 09:13 10

5. Lenny86 (Posts: 122; Member since: 20 Sep 2012)


I like this guy:)He is the Charlie Sheen of tech.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 09:21 12

9. natypes (Posts: 1093; Member since: 02 Feb 2015)


I didn't know he was HIV positive too.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 09:32 2

13. Lenny86 (Posts: 122; Member since: 20 Sep 2012)


Did not mention anything about HIV,jeeeez.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 09:55

24. LikeMyself (Posts: 438; Member since: 23 Sep 2013)


Charlie Sheen is awesome!

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 09:48

20. Sidewinder (Posts: 429; Member since: 15 Jan 2015)


I thought that was just a sick joke Charlie himself cooked up to piss off the media.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 09:16 3

6. Zack_2014 (Posts: 378; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)


What if he and his team fails at decrypting the iPhone, such embarrassment

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 09:20 4

7. Intrepid_wiz (Posts: 28; Member since: 30 Dec 2015)


I confess, i Googled "Cybersecurity Legend". I request to be hanged....

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 09:25

11. yoosufmuneer (Posts: 1498; Member since: 14 Feb 2015)


haha lol. I too certainly did, just to fulfil my curiousity

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 09:24 2

10. SprintGuy26 (Posts: 219; Member since: 21 Mar 2011)


wait im so lost? the Gov can already hack into our phones (AKA mini computers) so why are they asking for apples help?

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 09:33 4

14. WPX00 (Posts: 312; Member since: 15 Aug 2015)


Not anymore. Since iOS 8, Apple has encrypted (read: scrambled randomly) data on iDevices, and they are only decryptable by entering your passcode/fingerprint, which is the decryption key. A second copy of the key, which would allow Apple to open it, is not stored by Apple, and as such, even when the gov't wants it to, Apple technically can't. The govt says it wants Apple to force load a version of iOS that removes the security feature where it wipes data after 10 failed attempts, but Apple is refusing to do so.

Also, this issue will be null in devices from the 5S onwards: the passcode stuff is stored in a special part of the processor called Security Enclave, and that's unhackable and cannot be altered like what's technically possible in this case.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 09:43

16. yoosufmuneer (Posts: 1498; Member since: 14 Feb 2015)


but is it AES 256 encryption tho?

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 10:43 3

31. marorun (Posts: 3605; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


Well if they win this they will have court order apple to put a backdoor on all future iphone and may also do same thing with others mobile OS.

So its not only about apple security here.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 11:13

34. SprintGuy26 (Posts: 219; Member since: 21 Mar 2011)


ok, so apple has a big ass pad lock on the OS, if a device has a key/code then it CAN be hack....this just blows my mind they are supposed to be able to hack ANY OS...i feel that this is all a big stunt it has to be

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 12:09 1

39. engineer-1701d (unregistered)


AGAIN WHY NOT JUST USE THE DEAD GUYS FINGER SIMPLE

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 12:35 1

44. tacarat (Posts: 770; Member since: 22 Apr 2013)


If it was shut off at any point the phone requires the code or pin before reenabling the scanner. Its more than that, butclose enough.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 12:49 3

48. AlikMalix (Posts: 5915; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)


Im not exactly sure why, But I think the reason is that 5c didn't come with a Touch ID.

But let's say it did come with Touch ID:
1. After the phone was I unused for 48 hours it requires pin
2. If the phone was shut down - it will require pin upon reboot
3. Dead fingers (with no pulse) do not work

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 13:17 5

51. Wiencon (Posts: 1882; Member since: 06 Aug 2014)


Jesus F Christ please just get off this site, IT WAS IPHONE 5C IT HAS NO FINGERPRINT SCANNER it's second or third time you say the same bulls*it

posted on 19 Feb 2016, 03:05 2

73. JumpinJackROMFlash (Posts: 450; Member since: 10 Dec 2014)


If the 5C had a fingerprint scanner that could work but as it doesn't it really wouldn't do much. Not a very technical guy are you?

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 09:34 1

15. downphoenix (Posts: 3165; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


Apparently they've admitted that they can't do it to a locked device with this.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 10:43 1

32. marorun (Posts: 3605; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


I can admit thats i love Apple.

Dont mean its the truth..

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 11:57

37. MrElectrifyer (Posts: 3017; Member since: 21 Oct 2014)


Exactly, this could all be another 9/11 insider act to fool the public...

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 11:55 3

36. MrElectrifyer (Posts: 3017; Member since: 21 Oct 2014)


Maybe it's all a disguise to make the public think they can't? That's a possibility given what they went through to disguise 9/11 as terrorist attack just to give more power to the military. Plus, why else did Obama refuse to show picture of the so-called terrorist they killed at the end? It was all an inside setup:

https://youtu.be/xEU61Cw7VCo

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 12:09

38. eN16HTMAR3 (Posts: 253; Member since: 08 Oct 2013)


(.......applause.....)

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 12:12 1

40. engineer-1701d (unregistered)


electrfyer you need to shut the f up now.
thousands died and i live just outside of dc and work in that area alot.
stay up in canada and keep sucking on the american teet like always. your country is the joke of the world.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 17:26 3

67. lyndon420 (Posts: 4403; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


You bashing us Canadians you pathetic Yankee? You probably don't even know where Canada is due to your sub-par education system lmao.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 17:52 2

68. greyarea (Posts: 176; Member since: 14 Aug 2015)


You're the joke dude. You can't bring your extremist stormfront type dialogue here to a tech site and expect to be taken seriously. To make matters worse you clearly don't have enough knowledge about the technology at hand.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 22:50

71. MrElectrifyer (Posts: 3017; Member since: 21 Oct 2014)


Calm down dude, why so mad? 'Cause I'm questioning what the government has done?

What's your explanation behind all those evidences pointed out in the video? Also, what's your explanation behind Obama refusing to show the image of the dead "terrorist"?

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 14:50

61. SprintGuy26 (Posts: 219; Member since: 21 Mar 2011)


thats what i was saying

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 17:23

66. lyndon420 (Posts: 4403; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


Could very well be the case yup.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 09:51 3

21. Derekjeter (Posts: 914; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)


Nobody should help the Feds access anyone's phone. It's a extremely bad line to cross. Apple should have all the right to not access people's privacy. That's like a lawyer giving up he's client. It's unethical. The government will use any scare tactic to get people to pressure Apple, they always blame terrorist when it will only benefit them.

I live in San Bernardino and 3 weeks after those killings there was a white guy who shot and killed 4 people, why didn't they classified that as terrorist? Cuz he was white? Did they try to access he's phone? The US government is full of spit.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 10:10 1

27. kasrkin76 (Posts: 5; Member since: 21 Jan 2014)


Great race baiting response, I lived in San Bernadino, graduated from San G. I was heckled and bullied because I was a white in a non-white neighborhood. The next random shooter was a sociopath or mentally unstable, that is why he didn't make the news.

Anti-Muslim culture that drives ratings is what got the shooter on the news, and it was in progress. If a shooting is not in progress it gets much less notoriety unless something about it is out in left field somewhere.

Now lets get off this kick and go back to Tech, something we can all talk about . Also allowing the government to freely hack your phone, without a warrant or reason is a violation of your 4th amendment. But if ok'd by Judge and Prosecutor then go on with it.... but also the CIA/FBI can't be trusted with an all the time back door. Also I am a government employee.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 13:45

55. semipro1337 (Posts: 88; Member since: 01 Oct 2012)


Actually I believe the definition of terrorist is wrong - it states on numerous sites something similar to this definition from Vocabulary.com

"Someone who uses violence, mayhem, and destruction — or the threat of those things — to coerce people or countries into taking a certain action is a terrorist. A terrorist may be motivated by religious fervor, politics, or just plain old-fashioned greed."

In my opinion that definition should be changed to "Anyone who commits an act of terror by causing physical harm or threatens public safety".

I think that all crimes of any type of physical harm or death or mental harm should be classified as terrorism, we let too many people off with the old' American "he was just bat s**t crazy" BS.

And yes I do think all terrorists are bat s**t crazy.

And also I think that anyone who fits into terrorist, murderer, rapist, molester, etc have forfeited their American rights to privacy, and I wish more people felt the same - after all it could be you or your kid that is next on the list in the bad guys phone. Wouldn't you like to know?

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 18:00 1

69. greyarea (Posts: 176; Member since: 14 Aug 2015)


You're last line about this kid is spot on. Because emotion would cloud my judgement about what is logcial/right/wrong/realistic. It all goes out the window because that's MY kid. My personal end game should not effect 300+million other current and future people. I'm wish more people felt the same.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 12:14

42. engineer-1701d (unregistered)


its the countys phone not his its a government issued work phone.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 13:48

56. semipro1337 (Posts: 88; Member since: 01 Oct 2012)


If you were in the direct middle of a situation where accessing this guys phone could HAVE potentially saveeyour life or the life of a loved one, in the aftermath you would be singing a different song. Its easy to say its not right to access someones phone when the outcome has no affect on you.

I think this phone should be unlocked and given the the FBI on a silver platter - it might save lives. Thats more important than a terrorists rights to privacy, which he should have none.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 14:02

58. AlikMalix (Posts: 5915; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)


Derek, Is it possible that the phone that the "white guy" was using wasn't an iPhone, And government did not need to ask the manufacturer to help access it?

Just wanted to throw that outthere for arguments sake.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 09:52

23. ibend (Posts: 4648; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)


he'll be vanished right after he succefully decrypt than phone (kidnaped by NSA or FBI)

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 10:45

33. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 10115; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


Or the Terrorists...right?

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 10:02

26. tedkord (Posts: 11712; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Now I'm curious to see if he can do it.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 12:24

43. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 10115; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


Of course he can. If iOS can be hacked in minutes by hackers, don't you think a guy who made one of the world's leading anti-virus programs could also?

The only thing you need to bypass is the password.

He could easily test his own theories by simply buying a phone and putting data on it and having someone set a password/pin or whatever security measure.

The FBI could hack it too, but they probably would lose the info in the process. Seems the easiest way would be to pull the internal flash of the phone, give it power and just transfer the data off the drive.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 12:41

46. joevsyou (Posts: 813; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)


world's leading anti-virus programs HAHAHAHA, the guy doesn't even use his own programs

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 13:31 1

53. AlikMalix (Posts: 5915; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)


Techie you contradicted every statement you made. Funny read though.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 11:19

35. newuser1 (Posts: 257; Member since: 10 Dec 2010)


Hey. Drop it dead now. why would this Nazi terrorist guy bring up Russians and the Chinese??? This freak thing has nothing to do with Chinese !.

Drop it now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 12:40

45. joevsyou (Posts: 813; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)


McAfee HAHAHAHA owns one of there worse anti sofrware for PC and he doesn't even use it himself

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 14:05 2

59. murphslaws (Posts: 54; Member since: 22 Apr 2015)


He sold his shares. Who said he owns it. He does Yoga.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 14:05 1

60. skymitch89 (Posts: 1299; Member since: 05 Nov 2010)


Once one iPhone is hacked, then nearly all iPhones will be hackable using the same method. Though it might take 3 weeks to hack the device, once the method is figured out, it'll probably take just a matter of minutes to hack in the future.

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 15:04

63. 2faraway (Posts: 75; Member since: 26 Mar 2014)


Apple be like: "this is war!"

posted on 18 Feb 2016, 16:34

65. Af1rPA (Posts: 690; Member since: 12 Jun 2014)


Thug Life?

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