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Most blockchain protocols like Ethereum, cryptocurrency wallets and solutions are publicly accessible as open-source software on repositories such as Github, on which developers can freely suggest additions, changes, and improvements.
However, over the past year, some companies including Chain and BitFi along with major conglomerates have started to patent blockchain-related solutions with the intent of attacking open source software developers that have contributed to the blockchain space for over nine years, without any incentive or compensation to improve the infrastructure of the cryptocurrency industry.
Antivirus pioneer John McAfee’s cryptocurrency wallet has been hacked again by security researchers. McAfee announced a partnership with Bit in late July to promote the security of that company’s cryptocurrency wallet. However, it seems that Bitfi was prematurely confident about the security of its digital wallet, as hackers have been able to penetrate the McAfee Bitfi account numerous times. In the latest hack, researchers were able to send signed transactions with the wallet despite Biti's security mechanisms.
After completing the hack, researchers are confident that they have fulfilled the requirements needed to claim the $100,000 bug bounty prize announced by McAfee. “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,” McAfee tweeted in July. The bug bounty required hackers to demonstrate that they’re able to modify the device, connect to Biti's servers, and send data from the device.
Researchers were able to gain root access to the device two weeks ago, and they have confirmed that the device was still connected to Biti's servers. To fulfil the last requirement, security researcher Andrew Tierney confirmed that he was able to send the device’s private keys and passphrase to a remote server, The next web reported.
The latest hack on McAfee’s Bites wallet comes within days after 15-year-old Saleem Rashid demonstrated that he was able to crack the wallet to play Doom on the device. In that attempt, even though Rashid was able to hack the wallet, he was not able to access the cryptocurrency that was stored in McAfee’s account. McAfee had downplayed Rashid’s hack in a tweet, noting: “A video played on your Bitfi wallet has nothing to do with the safety of your funds. This is amateur hour, not a hack!” McAfee has not offered any comment about the most recent hack conducted by Tierney.
The controversy around BitFi intensified when several developers claimed to have gained root access of a BitFi device, which the company touted as an unhackable piece of software and hardware.
The BitFi team responded to the claims with an argument that the hackers weren’t able to steal funds from the BitFi device, but as a non-custodial hardware wallet, stealing user funds is not possible, and obtaining root access can, by definition, be considered as a successful hacking attempt.
The issue with BitFi is that while it claimed it is unhackable because it does not store any data by providing its users complete authority and control over their sensitive financial information such as the private key of a wallet, every other hardware wallet in the cryptocurrency sector including Trezor, KeepKey, and Ledger also do not store user information and by the definition of the BitFi team, are also unhackable. The BitFi team said:
Hence, if the BitFi team’s logic behind its unhackable claims is that its device cannot be breached into because it does not hold any user information, then every other hardware wallet in the cryptocurrency sector can make the same claim, which eliminates the supposed advantage BitFi has over existing competitors in the space.
John McAfee, who has been the front man for BitFi since its launch earlier this year, released a series of statements defending BitFi and the hacking attacks one of its devices experienced on August 2.
McAfee echoed a similar sentiment as the BitFi team, claiming that the device was not hacked because the hacker could not steal funds from the device, adding that until a hacker steals funds from the BitFi device, the company has the right to claim it is unhackable.
As a non-custodial wallet, BitFi may be secure and have a strong development team, but, its marketing tactics led the cryptocurrency community to turn against the hardware wallet manufacturer, as it continued issue claims about the nature of the security of its wallet and attack its competitors in the space with patents, which disregard the philosophy of open-source development in the blockchain industry.
Anna Martin is an Expert Essay Writer. As a writer, she has written web content, press, releases, video scripts, threads, guest posts, blog posts, and articles. She enjoys writing blog posts the most.
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