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Researchers hack John McAfee’s ‘unhackable’ Bitfi cryptocurrency wallet

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Antivirus pioneer John McAfee’s cryptocurrency wallet has been hacked again by security researchers. McAfee announced a partnership with Bitfi in late July to promote the security of that company’s cryptocurrency wallet. However, it seems that Bitfi was prematurely confident about the security of its digital wallet, as hackers have been able to penetrate the McAfee Bitfi account numerous times. In the latest hack, researchers were able to send signed transactions with the wallet despite Bitfi’s security mechanisms.

After completing the hack, researchers are confident that they have fulfilled the requirements needed to claim the $100,000 bug bounty prize announced by McAfee. “For all you naysayers who claim that ‘nothing is unhackable’ & who don’t believe that my Bitfi wallet is truly the world’s first unhackable device, a $100,000 bounty goes to anyone who can hack it,” McAfee tweeted in July. The bug bounty required hackers to demonstrate that they’re able to modify the device, connect to Bitfi’s servers, and send data from the device.

Researchers were able to gain root access to the device two weeks ago, and they have confirmed that the device was still connected to Bitfi’s servers. To fulfill the last requirement, security researcher Andrew Tierney confirmed that he was able to send the device’s private keys and passphrase to a remote server, The Next Web reported.

“We have sent the seed and phrase from the device to another server — it just gets sent using netcat, nothing fancy.” said Tierney. “We believe all [conditions] have been met.”

The latest hack on McAfee’s Bitfi wallet comes within days after 15-year-old Saleem Rashid demonstrated that he was able to crack the wallet to play Doom on the device. In that attempt, even though Rashid was able to hack the wallet, he was not able to access the cryptocurrency that was stored in McAfee’s account. McAfee had downplayed Rashid’s hack in a tweet, noting: “A video played on your Bitfi wallet has nothing to do with the safety of your funds. This is amateur hour, not a hack!” McAffee has not offered any comment about the most recent hack conducted by Tierney.

Since announcing his partnership with Bitfi, McAffee said on August 13 that he is now CEO of Luxcore, a company that works on enterprise blockchain solutions.

If you’re a cryptocurrency investor, be sure to check out our guides to some of the best bitcoin wallets.

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Chuong Nguyen
Silicon Valley-based technology reporter and Giants baseball fan who splits his time between Northern California and Southern…
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