Is John McAfee Panicking or Batting Down Trolls? Hackers Claim to Have Cracked the ‘Unhackable’ Bitfi Wallet
On July 31st, McAfee Security Founder John Mcafee, went to Twitter with his usual gusto and announced that the bounty for hacking into his ‘unhackable’ Bitfi wallet had been raised from $100,000 to $250,000. Controversy has since unfolded on Twitter as numerous hackers are claiming to have successfully gained access into Bitfi wallets undetected. After a prolonged silence, McAfee has taken to Twitter, clearly annoyed, and is now dismissing the ‘hackers’ as trolls.
A Twitter user by the name of @Cybergibbons has been drawing the most attention in the controversy.
To those that say the people hating on Bitfi don’t have one in their hands.
Look at this.
Guess what? The device has no idea it’s been tampered with. pic.twitter.com/7pbEyhViFy
— Ask Cybergibbons! (@cybergibbons) July 31, 2018
Meanwhile, another hacker using the Twitter handle @OversoftNL has also claimed to have also successfully hacked the Bitfi wallet.
Short update without going into too much detail about BitFi:
We have root access, a patched firmware and can confirm the BitFi wallet still connect happily to the dashboard.
There are NO checks in place to prevent that like claimed by BitFi.
— OverSoft (@OverSoftNL) August 1, 2018
No Love McAfee
In response to Cybergibbons and Oversoft’s claims, McAffe, posted an animated 3 part video response during which he angrily insists that the Bitfi wallet still hasn’t been hacked because the ‘hackers’ have not been able to withdraw funds from the device. He labels Cybergibbons and Oversoft’s achievements as “child’s play” and states that recent developments surrounding this story are “bullshit.” Below is part 1:
The FUD surrounding the unhackablility of the BitFi wallet, part 1: pic.twitter.com/LNgteEqR30
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) August 2, 2018
The Devil is in the Details
McAffe appears to be making a fair point. If the challenge is specifically to withdraw money from a Bitfi wallet, there is no indication yet from the hackers that such an achievement has been made.
However, for all intents and purposes the ‘unhackable’ Bitfi wallet has clearly been hacked. By achieving root access, Cybergibbons and Oversoft were both able to inject keyloggers onto the Bitfi wallets completely undetected. In the event that anyone ever used one of these hacked Bitfi wallets they would be, “completely pwned,” says Oversoft.
Yes. It does. https://t.co/yASRw98KJJ
— Ask Cybergibbons! (@cybergibbons) August 2, 2018
Are McAfee and Bitfi Panicking?
There are now suspicions that McAfee and Bitfi are beginning to backpedal away from their initial bounty. Yesterday, Bitfi announced a new bounty for hacking their wallet, but the prize had been reduced to only $10,000. There is speculation in the community that McAfee and Bitfi have no intention of paying the much larger quarter-million dollar prize. Oversoft expressed his frustration when Bitfi tweeted their $10,000 offer to him.
Dear OverSoft, can our CEO reach out to you to discuss how we can compensate you for your work on this? We would like to know about any possible security issues immediately. We would really appreciate if you will talk to our CEO.
— Bitfi (@Bitfi6) August 2, 2018
Both Oversoft and Cybergibbons now seem to think it is highly unlikely that McAfee will be coughing up any significant amount of prize money anytime soon.
There are still many questions left unanswered as this story continues to unfold. The competitively priced $120 Bitfi wallet has branded itself on being unhackable. Bounties aside, the growing attention surrounding this story, fueled by the angry rants of John McAffe, leave the rest of us wondering if there will be any lasting consequences for McAfee or the Bitfi brand.
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