Recently there's been a bit of a hubbub after a cryptocurrency wallet released by John McAfee's Bitfi. It was claimed that the wallet was unhackable, with a bounty offering $250,000 to anyone who could break in an successfully steal the coins. Unsurprisingly the device was hacked pretty quickly, with researchers gaining root access, successfully launching a man-in-the-middle attack, and porting Doom onto the device.
While McAfee was quick to dismiss those hacks as not being true hacks, since nobody got the coins, Bitfi has now publicly withdrawn the 'unhackable' claims.
Important announcement from Bitfi: pic.twitter.com/SD4ZCJxvLn
— Bitfi (@Bitfi6) August 30, 2018
It's not often that you see a high-profile company make a retraction this way, normally you'd expect them to make the changes without much fanfare and hope nobody makes too much of a fuss about it. But you have to give them credit for realising there was a problem and doing what needed to be done to fix it. Even if McAfee himself is going to looks a bit foolish for having dismissed researchers' work so easily.
That's not stopped him from sticking to his guns and continuing to claim the wallet is "clearly unhackable" because the $120 worth of cryptocurrency has yet to be removed.
Its selling like hotcakes. And, still, no one has been able to hack it and get the coins. Since the purpose of the wallet is to store coins, every claimed "hack" has been https://t.co/c3su0N4ibt is clearly unhackable.
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) August 31, 2018
Some things never change it seems.
Bitfi promises that more public announcements will come this week, and in the meantime it has withdrawn the initial bounties that had been on offer. A more conventional bounty programme is on the way, but for now we have no information on what that will involve. Presumably there will still be a reward for people who manage to steal the coins, since their security is the main selling point of the Bitfi wallet. Maybe then McAfee will concede that his wallet wasn't all it was cracked up to be. [BBC News]
Image: Gage Skidmore/Flickr