Tech

McAfee: Cracking San Bernardino Terrorist’s Phone Literally ‘A Half-Hour Job’

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Jonah Bennett Contributor
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Cybersecurity expert and Libertarian Party presidential candidate John McAfee said Apple could unlock the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone for the FBI in about half an hour.

“I’m going to tell the world exactly how we do this,” McAfee said in an interview Monday on RT. “I’ll probably lose my admission to the world hacker’s community. However, I’m going to tell you.”

McAfee then went on to explain that a hardware engineer is required to take apart the iPhone and run a disassembler, at which point the hardware engineers passes over the instruction set to a software engineer, who looks through the code to determine the instructions used for accessing the key pad.

“When you see that, then he reads the instructions for where in memory this secret code is stored. It is that trivial,” McAfee said.

“It’ll take half an hour,” McAfee added.

According to McAfee, both Apple and the FBI are well aware of this. But if the FBI doesn’t know how to unlock the iPhone, then the public should be alarmed at its complete lack of technical prowess.

“If they don’t know it, well then it’s tragic. If they do know it, then they are deceiving the American public and Apple and everyone else by asking for a universal key,” McAfee said.

“So in either case, we are in deep trouble. America, please get a clue here.”

For McAfee, the explanation he gave means that “anybody can do it,” that is, unlock the iPhone, so the FBI should stop trying to deceive Americans and pretending “we’re idiots.” Instead, the FBI should just admit that it wants to spy on Americans.

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has written a letter to customers saying that the company will fight the Department of Justice tooth and nail to avoid handing over universal access to the FBI.

“The FBI may use different words to describe this tool, but make no mistake: Building a version of iOS that bypasses security in this way would undeniably create a back door,” said Cook in the letter. “And while the government may argue that its use would be limited to this case, there is no way to guarantee such control.”

A Pew poll completed back in February found that a slight majority of Americans, 51 percent, believe Apple should comply with the Department of Justice and facilitate access to the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone 5c.

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