John McAfee; the guy whose name you see on the popular anti-virus software says we should worry less about computer security. According to him the real threat now lies in the microphones and cameras that come with our smart mobile devices. He thinks it’s very easy for a hacker to remotely access your phone for example to turn on your phone sensor.
This comes as the McAfee revealed that he would be heading a smaller security company MGT Capital Investments which will take his name eventually like the popular McAfee Associates which he founded in 1987 and was bought in 2010 by Intel for $7.7b/1.5tr Naira. The new company will offer anti-spyware products for mobile devices.
John AcAfee, Image credit : ABC
Encryption is the way for a lot of tech companies with WhatsApp being the latest to offer end-to-end encryption on all chats. Hackers have always been a threat and in some cases a simple text message sent to you could be used to get into your phone remotely and you can imagine what can be done by someone who has access to your phone data. The United States has always believed that foreign hackers especially from countries like Iran, China and Russia have targeted its infrastructure including power grid and of course they also counter accuse the US of doing the same. The point is that this is a real threat and countries across the world are now paying attention but Mr. McAfee thinks they are not doing enough as he pointed out at a computer security conference in the US on Wednesday “We are teetering on an edge, not just as companies, not just as individuals, but as a nation and even as a world. We depend so much on our information science,” he says. “Believe me, this will be the new paradigm… and until you are touched, you do not understand the fullness of the risk.”
The American government has now created a special department on cyber security and its members include experts from the public and private sectors. A $19b budegt has been set aside. The US is not alone as other major nations have gone ahead to create sophisticated cyber departments. In a meeting with his American counterpart, the Chinese president Xi Jinping announced that the United States and China have agreed to tackle threats coming from either side decisively.
Kaspersky in a report last year said cyber thieves had stolen at least $1b/300b Naira from about 100 banks in 30 countries. The Central Ban of Nigeria said about 40b/$200m Naira was lost to cyber crooks in 2013 alone and the list goes on and on across the world.
Mr. McAfee is now running for President of America as a Libertarian after being accused of having a hand in a neighbour’s murder in Belize in 2012.