Unhackable? McAfee Hardware Wallet Uses Parts From ‘Cheap’ Smartphones
John McAfee and cryptocurrency hardware manufacturer Bitfi are facing heavy criticism after photos of the pair’s new wallet appeared online.
‘No Sign Of A Secure Element’
The Bitfi hardware wallet, which creators claim is “unhackable,” in fact runs off a standard motherboard common in “cheap” smartphones, social media users claim.
The same hardware is seemingly used in devices currently available on Alibaba, as an example linked to on Twitter, for around $35.
“No sign of a secure element,” one Twitter commentator wrote uploading photos of the hardware. “…I can’t believe the gall of these people.”
So now we have pictures of the bare @Bitfi6 board.
It's just a MEDIATEK MT6580.
No sign of a secure element.
— Ask Cybergibbons! (@cybergibbons) July 29, 2018
McAfee had originally announced his intention to build a bulletproof cryptocurrency hardware wallet with Bitfi last month.
Following the unveiling, the infamously outspoken personality challenged anyone to hack the creation, whereupon they would win $100,000.
“For all you naysayers who claim that ‘nothing is unhackable’ & who don’t believe that my Bitfi wallet is truly the world’s first unhackable device, a $100,000 bounty goes to anyone who can hack it,” he tweeted July 24.
“Money talks, bullshit walks.”
Taking issue with the unhackable status, the same Twitter commentator noted that competing hardware wallets make no such claims of infallibility, and are also more secure by design.
“Firstly, Trezor and Ledger are significantly more basic. It’s much easier to design a secure system when you limit the attack surface. Secondly, they both use microcontrollers with flash built into the packages, making it much harder to tamper,” they continued.
Thirdly, Trezor will let you build the firmware yourself. You can check exactly what they device is running, or build it yourself. Fourthly, neither of them has claimed to be unhackable.
McAfee has yet to respond to the lack of faith in his brainchild, while Bitfi still alleges its device is all-powerful.
“As a computing device it is much more costly to manufacture than ordinary hardware wallets, however, our mission is to make this technology accessible to everyone and to keep it affordably priced as long as possible,” its website description states.
What do you think about the misgivings surrounding the Bitfi hardware wallet? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter