BitFi has branded itself as an unhackable cryptocurrency wallet, in the same way the Titanic branded itself as an unsinkable ship. Fate seems to have been tempted successfully as it now appears that BitFi has been hacked, at least partially.
BitFi partnered with cryptocurrency superstar John McAfee to offer a USD 100,000 bounty to anyone that could hack the BitFi wallet. After some back and forth on the internet, since there is a widespread belief that anything is hackable, BitFi upped the ante to USD 250,000. It has fairly specific rules outlined on its website detailing how the hacker has to purchase a locked BitFi wallet and drain the funds to win the challenge.
Challenging all the hackers on the internet might not have been the best strategy, especially when offering them such a large sum of money. It appears a hacker has claimed to have partially hacked the BitFi wallet to gain root access.
Short update without going into too much detail about BitFi:
We have root access, a patched firmware and can confirm the BitFi wallet still connect happily to the dashboard.
There are NO checks in place to prevent that like claimed by BitFi.
— OverSoft (@OverSoftNL) August 1, 2018
This can be considered a serious security breach, but BitFi has refused to pay out the USD 250,000 because its rules clearly state that the hacker must drain the funds to win the challenge. If the hacker claims were true, root access should give full access to everything in the wallet system. However, it is unclear if the private key is stored on these BitFi wallets being offered to hackers for the challenge. If not, then this challenge is impossible, since cryptocurrency private keys are inherently unhackable even with the most powerful supercomputer.
McAfee, who is a BitFi advocate and funding the challenge, has downplayed the hacking of the BitFi wallet. He asserts that gaining root access is meaningless, despite the fact that when hacking, gaining root access usually means game over.
Hackers saying they have gained root access to the BitFi wallet. Well whoop-de-do! So what? Root acces to a device with no write or modify capability. That’s as useless as a dentist license un a nuclear power plant. Can you get the money on the wallet? No. That’s what matters.
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) August 2, 2018
The hacker asserts that gaining root access means BitFi is not secure, and that this hacker challenge is a sham.
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