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:

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.

source: BI

Story timeline



1. yoosufmuneer

Posts: 1518; Member since: Feb 14, 2015

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

2. neops

Posts: 297; Member since: Jan 28, 2014

Maybe... yoo?

30. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

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

47. AlikMalix unregistered

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?

62. mrmessma

Posts: 271; Member since: Mar 28, 2012

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

8. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

I certainly did. lol no shame

12. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 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.

18. keekai05

Posts: 116; Member since: Mar 31, 2015


29. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

I did. So?!

3. dmh0284

Posts: 50; Member since: Apr 04, 2014

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

57. murphslaws

Posts: 54; Member since: Apr 22, 2015

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

5. Lenny86

Posts: 301; Member since: Sep 20, 2012

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

9. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

I didn't know he was HIV positive too.

13. Lenny86

Posts: 301; Member since: Sep 20, 2012

Did not mention anything about HIV,jeeeez.

24. LikeMyself

Posts: 631; Member since: Sep 23, 2013

Charlie Sheen is awesome!

20. Sidewinder

Posts: 515; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

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

6. Zack_2014

Posts: 677; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

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

7. Intrepid_wiz

Posts: 28; Member since: Dec 30, 2015

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

11. yoosufmuneer

Posts: 1518; Member since: Feb 14, 2015

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

10. SprintGuy26

Posts: 229; Member since: Mar 21, 2011

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

14. WPX00

Posts: 511; Member since: Aug 15, 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.

16. yoosufmuneer

Posts: 1518; Member since: Feb 14, 2015

but is it AES 256 encryption tho?

31. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 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.

34. SprintGuy26

Posts: 229; Member since: Mar 21, 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

39. engineer-1701d unregistered


44. tacarat

Posts: 854; Member since: Apr 22, 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.

48. AlikMalix unregistered

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

51. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 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

73. JumpinJackROMFlash

Posts: 464; Member since: Dec 10, 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?

15. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

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

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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