Hacker Interviews – John McAfee, the legend

Pierluigi Paganini July 12, 2016

Dear readers, I’m really proud and excited to share with you my interview with a legend Mr John McAfee.

John McAfee is one of the spiritual father of modern cyber security, he developed the first commercial antivirus, but John is much more. He is the “artist” of security, a modern juggler of technology. Multi-talented and visionary, with an innate ability to look far, free from prejudice.

Enjoy the interview!

John McAfee
Hi John, first of all, thank you. You will never end to surprise me, I’m very happy and honored to make this interview.
Well, John, let me say that you are an ecliptic and ingenious professional, you have something in your DNA that makes you different. Today we are speaking about cyber security because professionals like you made it possible. Can you tell more about your technical background? When did you start thinking cyber security?

I learned computer programming from the companies that manufactured computers. In the 60’s and early 70’s universities did not have computer science programs, so the computer manufacturers were the only Avenue of training. My first job was in 1968 working with General Electric’s Process Automation Division. GE at the time was the world’s leader in building computers to automate industrial processes. I moved from GE to Univac in 1970. Univac at the time was the second largest computer manufacturer. At Univac I learned how to design and program operating systems. After Univac, I got a job with NASA’s Institute for Space Studies in Manhattan. It was there that I was introduced to cyber security. NASA was concerned that the Russians might steal information from its first satellites and I was assigned to the team attempting to protect the data returned by TIROS, the first weather mapping satellite.  I have been involved with computer security ever since.

Which are the most interesting hacking communities on the web today? What do you suggest to follow to a wannabe hacker?

Anonymous is the most active hacking group. If a person wants to be a hacker I would first suggest that they attend DeFcon in Las Vegas. It is the world’s largest hacking community and is held in August each year. This way you can connect with the world’s best hackers. The only way to truly learn hacking is from other hackers.

What about the militarization of the cyberspace? What scares you the most in the Internet?

Militarization does not concern me. There will always be increasingly sophisticated weapons. What concerns me is the application of technology directed at infiltrating the privacy of citizens.

I read one of your Tweets that states “Anyone who believes their real IP address can’t be tracked, even using TOR, is ignorant of the facts.” Tell me more. It the privacy a modern utopia?

TOR prides privacy only against lazy hackers. If a Hacker is  dedicated and determined, he can peel back the layers in a matter of days.

Did you observe a strain of malware or a cyber attack that has literally shocked you? Which one?

None gave shocked me. What has shocked me are the hacks that Hackers are capable of that have not yet happened. It’s like waiting for the other shoe to drop.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs –  Hacker, John McAfee)

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