John McAfee invented commercial antivirus software. He may be a controversial and eccentric figure … but the man knows his technology.
Earlier this month, McAfee told security expert Paul Asadoorian that encryption is dead. Specifically, he said:
Every city in the country has 1 to 3 Stingray spy devices … Bigger cities like New York probably have 200 or 300
When you buy a Stingray, Harris Corporation makes you sign a contract keeping your Stingray secret (background here and here)
Stingray pushes automatic “updates” – really malicious software – onto your phone as soon as you come into range
The software – written by the largest software company in the world – allows people to turn on your phone, microphone and camera, and read everything you do and see everything on your screen
Encryption doesn’t matter in a world where anyone can plant software on your phone and see what you’re seeing. Protecting transmission of information from one device to the other doesn’t matter anymore … they can see what you see on your device
There are many intrusions other than Stingray. For example, everyone has a mobile phone or mobile device which has at least 10 apps which have permission to access camera and microphone
Bank of America’s online banking app requires you to accept microphones and cameras. McAfee called Bank of America and asked why they require microphones and cameras. They replied that – if you emptied all of the money in your account and said “it wasn’t me”, they could check, and then say:
Well, it certainly looks like you. And it certainly sounds like you.
In order to do that, B of A’s app keeps your microphone and camera on for a half hour after you’ve finished your banking
In addition, people can call you – and have you call them back – and plant software on your phone when you call them back