John McAfee: The FBI Should Hire Me
John McAfee, the brain behind one of the most popular anti-virus programs in the world-McAfee, recently offered in a Business insider piece to help the FBI crack the encrypted iPhone of a suspect in last year’s mass shooting in San Bernardino. The FBI secured a court order that ordered Apple to help in hacking into the iPhone, but Apple is yet to comply. The tech giant has opposed the court order and issued a detailed open letter regarding cyber-security and iPhone encryption to its customers. The war between the American law enforcement agency and globe’s most valuable firm is considered to have lasting and serious implications on the future of cyber security as well as personal privacy.
Apple Chief Executive Officer, Tim Cook last week turned down the FBI’s demand to develop a back door technology (a personalized version of the iOS software that would allow authorities bypass the phone’s security and access information belonging to one of the shooters in the unfortunate incident that left fourteen dead) for the iPhone.
Cook says that if it complies with the court order, it would severely weaken the future security of its software. But in a quick rejoinder the FBI says it only wants the backdoor once and for this case only. However there is no way to guarantee that this type of control won’t open doors for hackers to compromise security of the software, a situation that would leave almost all iPhone customers vulnerable.
“The security agency is asking us to crack our own customers and compromise years of security advancements that help protect our users from cybercriminals and sophisticated hackers” Mr. Cook wrote in the letter posted online Wednesday on Apple’s website. He compared the back door tech to a master key that is able to open millions of locks and said that there is no sure way to keep the “back door” technique private once it is developed. Even though the FBI could try to brute force the PIN, experts say that heading in that direction would likely result in built-in iPhone security measures deleting any data that may be stored on the device.
McAfee joined the fray by claiming that his misfit team of hackers could help defuse the standoff between the FBI and Apple. “Here is my free of charge offer to the Federal Bureau of Investigation; I will decrypt the data on the iPhone with my team of hackers. We will mainly use social engineering and it will only take us 3 weeks” He wrote. “If you accept this offer then you won’t need to ask Apple to hack its own product which will officially mark the beginning of the end of the United Stated of America.”
McAfee said his solution would help solve the FBI’s problem with the phone and eliminate privacy concerns of critics who fear that the technology could be misused by black hat hackers. John is not offering to do this out of a sense of civic duty, but as a belief that if the FBI gets its way it will severely affect America’s cyber security as a world super power. He claims that if apple gives in to the request, the back door tech would leave the country vulnerable against cyber criminals and other rogue actors including the Chinese and Russian governments in the unfortunate event of a cyber war.
At some point his observations seemed to taunt the authorities. John McAfee who is a Libertarian and is running for president in the same party, said that the security agency is in this dilemma because it only employees straight laced experts who are way less talented than his team. “Why do the best computer experts in the world not work for the government? Because government agencies like the FBI will not employ anybody with a 24-inch purple Mohawk, a tattooed face and 10 gauge ear piercings who demands to smoke pot while working and will not work for nothing less than $500,000 per year” McAfee wrote.
“But you can bet your ass that the Russian and the Chinese governments are hiring such like people with similar working demands and have been for several years. It is the main reason why we are several decades behind in the cyber space race.” And if you question his credentials, John has one more thing to say: “Just search the words ‘cybersecurity legend’ in every search engine and see whose name appears in the first ten results out of over 250,000 results.”