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John McAfee: Ashley Madison "Was An Inside Job"

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John McAfee is not known for his reasonableness. McAfee, founder of the eponymous antivirus software company, is very well known for being a security expert, however. Wearing both hats, McAfee now says that “Ashley Madison hack was not hacked.” He claims, “It was an inside job.” And it was a woman!?

The International Business Times, which shares a parent company with Newsweek, just published a misogyny-laden report by John “I just got a new prescription for Xanax” McAfee. The findings include the claim that the Ashley Madison data “data was stolen by a woman operating on her own who worked for Avid Life Media.” McAfee claims that he figured this out by sifting through some 40-gigabytes of hacked data. Here’s how he says he figured out the inside job detail:

How did I discover that it was an inside job? From the data that was released, it was clear that the perpetrator had intimate knowledge of the technology stack of the company (all the programs being used). For example, the data contains actual MySQL database dumps. This is not just someone copying a table and making into a .csv file. Hackers rarely have full knowledge of the technology stack of a target.


That’s pretty compelling! Indeed, John McAfee knows a thing or two about security. That’s why he has a security company named after him. It’s not uncommon for massive hacks like this to start from within, either. Security researchers also believe that the Sony hack was an inside job, likely stemming from a disgruntled employee.

So McAfee is onto something with the inside job idea. But then he starts describing some of his other findings:

I have also practiced social engineering since the word was first invented and I can very quickly identify gender if given enough emotionally charged words from an individual. The perpetrator’s two manifestos provided that. In short, here is how I went about it.


Wait what? McAfee is saying he can discern someone’s gender just by the way they write? He explains:

As to gender of the perpetrator, there were a number of telling signs in the manifestos. The most telling was a statement calling men “scumbags” (for those readers that don’t speak American/Canadian English, this is a word that only a woman would ever use to describe men). In a separate section, the perpetrator describes men as cheating dirtbags. I think in any language this would suggest that a woman is speaking.

Uhhhhh… that seems… pretty subjective, not to mention offensive. But surely he’s not going to base all of this on some obscenely sexist conclusion about how women love Valentine’s Day, right? Wrong:

In describing one of them the perpetrator states the he “spitefully” joined Ashley Madison the day after Valentine’s Day. Anyone who ever had a significant other knows that women rate Valentine’s Day higher than Christmas, and men think so little of it that they have to remind each other the day is nearing. To call an act the day after Valentines Day “spiteful”, is a thought that would enter few men’s minds. If this does not convince you then you need to get out of the house more often.


We know from Snowden that insiders with an axe to grind can easily steal data and release it to the public. So the idea that the Ashley Madison hack was an inside job isn’t out of the question. If we take McAfee and his experience at his word, the inside job case seems more than a little plausible. The idea that a woman did this, on the other had, because “only women call men scumbags and men hate Valentine’s Day,” is bonkers—not to mention downright offensive. Welcome to the mind of John McAfee.

[IB Times]

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