McAfee says he used malware to spy on Belize authorities
John McAfee’s name is well-known in the information security industry, but until very recently, most of the general public didn’t know that he had long ago stopped having anything to do with the antivirus company he founded.
Recently McAfee found himself in the spotlight for completely different reasons – he has been accused of murder, has been chased by the Belize police, and has successfully managed to reach Guatemala from where he was deported to his native United States.
During the entirety of this ordeal he has been keeping the public informed about the goings-on and has been setting the record straight regarding the allegedly false accusations leveled against him via his blog, where he recently revealed that despite his past in the antivirus industry, he had no qualms about using malware to spy on people he believed were set out to hurt him.
“I purchased 75 cheap laptop computers and, with trusted help, installed invisible keystroke logging software on all of them – the kind that calls home (to me) and disgorges the text files. It also, on command, turns on and off, the microphone and camera – and sends these files on command. I had the computers re-packaged as if new. I began giving these away as presents to select people – government employees, police officers, Cabinet Minister’s assistants, girlfriends of powerful men, boyfriends of powerful women,” he explained.
He hired people for monitoring the text files sent by the malware, filled with passwords for email accounts, Facebook accounts, private message boards and other passworded accounts.
He also allegedly hired 23 women and 6 men to be his “operatives” in the field. He taught them social engineering tricks on how to access and load software on someone’s computer while they slept, or ate or made long phone calls, and on how to make the targets’ phones record sent text, making it possible for the “operative” to peruse them later.
He claims to have also bribed the employees of two Belize national phone companies to set up taps on the targets’ phones and deliver lists of phone contacts.
His ultimate goal was to obtain “hard proof of corruption at high level.” What he allegedly discovered was evidence of sexual affairs, murder orders, terrorist conspiracies and other criminal activities that involved the highest echelons of the Belize government.