McAfee’s “unhackable” hardware wallet uses cheap parts from smartphones

30 Jul, 2018
by Will Heasman
McAfee’s “unhackable” hardware wallet uses cheap parts from smartphones

 That is at least, according to one Twitter user, going by the handle Cybergibbons. The man behind the account is Andrew Tierney, a security consultant at Pen Test Partners – a penetration testing and cybersecurity company. Tierney alleges that the circuitry used in McAfee’s Bitfi wallet is the same as that used in cheaper smartphones, Tierney also divulges that there is no secure element present within the device.

Tierney further accuses the Bitfi wallet of having no FCC ID on it, a certification that radio frequency devices require before being marketed or sold in the US:

Another technically savvy user jumped in on the analysis of the device and discovered that the board may have had some components stripped from it.

While Mcafee has been uncharacteristically shy in response to these allegations, Bitfi got stuck in and responded to Tierney, after a Twitter back and forth between the two, Bitfi finally challenged Tierney to hack the wallet personally:

Mcafee has understandably backed up his claim by offering a bounty, with a massive 100k to the first person to hack it; Interestingly enough so has Tierney… for a significantly lesser amount.

The bounty in question has now reached $1100 and is growing by the hour. So far, no-one (Tierney Included) has been able to compromise the Bitfi wallet.

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