John McAfee-Backed BitFi Hardware Wallet Is Not A “High-Integrity” Device, Says Security Expert

Omar Faridi
  • A security consultant says the BitFi hardware wallet is not a “high-integrity device”, but rather a “low-end Android phone."
  • McAfee has increased the reward for hacking the BitFi wallet from $100,000 to $250,000 and will reportedly release a video tomorrow to refute all the “nonsense.”

The John McAfee-backed BitFi hardware wallet has been heavily promoted as “unhackable” due to its “fortress-like security” by the device’s developers and the eccentric crypto enthusiast.

However, some have suggested that the “impenetrable” $120 wallet may not be as secure as McAfee and the BitFi team claim it is.

Mcafee's faith in the device has also grown - originally promising a $100,000 reward to anyone who would be able to hack the BitFi hardware wallet, he has reportedly increased the bounty to $250,000.

$10,000 Bounty For Identifying Security Vulnerabilities

The BitFi development team has announced a $10,000 bounty as well for anyone who can modify the device’s firmware and then successfully connect to the BitFi dashboard. Additionally, the BitFi team requires that the compromised device must be able to send the private keys or secret passphrase (SEED) associated with it to an (external) third party “while still functioning normally with the BitFi dashboard.”

In the past 24 hours a number of crypto enthusiasts appear to have taken on the challenge and Twitter user @cybergibbons, one of McAfee’s most well-known critics, posted what seems to be a picture of the wallet having been opened and tampered with:

 

@cybergibbons further commented that the device was not “custom designed” and that it resembled a “stripped back, low-end Android phone with parts missing.” The security consultant added that the wallet’s processor was not designed for a “high-integrity device.”

“NO Checks” To Prevent Root Access

Earlier, McAfee and his technical advisor had stated that those who were leaving negative reviews about the BitFi wallet did not even own one or had never used it before. This may have motivated more people to buy the iPhone-like touchscreen device just so that they could try to hack it.

Moreover, @cybergibbons was not the only twitter user who now claims to have compromised the hardware wallet’s security system. User @OversoftNL said that he was able to gain “root access” to the device by modifying its firmware. “There are NO checks to prevent [this] like claimed by BitFi”, @OversoftNL noted.

Soon after these claims surfaced, McAfee responded by tweeting that he would release a “definitive video” tomorrow that would counter all this “nonsense":

Brazilian Investor Buys 28 BTC With 30% Discount on Facebook

Neil Dennis

A Brazilian crypto consultant has reportedly completed a sale of 28 bitcoins at a 30% discount on Facebook, in a move made possible by alarm bells ringing regarding a local cryptocurrency investment platform.

According to Livecoins Márcio José Motta, the consultant, advertised he was selling 28 BTC – worth around $280,000 – on a Facebook group earlier this week, with the catch that the coins were on the Atlas Quantum investment platform.

The sale was made a 30% discount, as the platform itself is facing various challenges. For one, it’s widely believed to be a Ponzi scheme, as it claims to use a bot – an internet software application – that can examine prices across exchanges to take advantage of arbitrage opportunities, and reward traders for their investments.

Facebook bitcoin sales adsSource: Livecoins

The company has also been notified by Brazil’s Securities Commission (CVM), as users have been reporting withdrawals issues from its platform. This means the discount came from a user who likely tried – and failed – to withdraw his funds.

The BTC sale was reportedly completed in less than an hour, as the crypto consultant claims to have connected the seller to a group of investors who’re always looking for cheap BTC. Márcio added he concluded similar operations with other exchanges, telling the Brazilian news outlet:

The same thing happened with Negociecoins. In transactions related to that exchange alone I’ve moved over 40 BTC a day.

Meanwhiles Atlas Quantum, the platform that’s seeing users struggle to withdraw, has said it’ll reward them with a 25% premium once they are indeed able to get their funds out. The bonus, the company claims, is related to days in which it failed to pay out “arbitrage” revenues. The company further alleged it’s unaware of any discounted BTC sales going on between its users.

The cryptocurrency scene has been growing in Brazil. As covered last month the public transportation system of the city of Fortaleza, the capital of the state of Ceará, has started embracing cryptocurrency payments.