McAfee: I know how the FBI is cracking Apple's encryption

Software entrepreneur and Libertarian presidential hopeful John McAfee said on Tuesday that he knows who is helping the FBI hack into an iPhone that belonged to one of the San Bernardino shooting suspects.

ADVERTISEMENT
In an interview with CNBC, McAfee was asked if he was the third party that the FBI said was helping them crack Apple’s encryption.

“No, it’s not me, but I know exactly who it is and what they are doing. And I promise you that Tim Cook and Apple are not going to be happy with the solution that the FBI has come up with, because it is almost as bad as a universal master key," he responded.

This week, the Justice Department announced that it would be dropping its efforts to legally compel Apple to create a back door to its encryption to allow law enforcement to gain access to Syed Rizwan Farook’s device. Prosecutors in the case said that a third party was assisting them in cracking the encryption.

McAfee would not reveal what method he thinks the FBI is employing or who was behind it.

“I’m not fond of it,” he said.

The eccentric software programmer has offered to decrypt the device so that Apple would not have to create a back door.

“I will, free of charge, decrypt the information on the San Bernardino phone, with my team,” he wrote in an op-ed for Business Insider.

“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 its product, which will be the beginning of the end of America.” 

More in Cybersecurity

FBI unlikely to tell Apple how it hacked into shooter's phone

Read more »