John McAfee Thinks He’s Cracked The Ashley Madison Case

ashleymadison1John McAfee, one of the most influential cyber-security personalities in the world, writes for the IBTimes UK that Ashley Madison was not hacked.

“…The data was stolen by a woman operating on her own who worked for Avid Life Media,” the famed Antivirus security entrepreneur penned. McAfee had not yet commented on the release of the personal information. McAfee’s analysis comes on the heels of Ashley Madison’s announcement that it would reward individuals who help bring its hackers to justice with $500,000.

In the article, McAfee distinguishes a hacker from what happened behind the scenes at Ashley Madison. “A hacker is someone who uses a combination of high-tech cybertools and social engineering to gain illicit access to someone else’s data,” he writes. “But this job was done by someone who already had the keys to the Kingdom. It was an inside job.”

In his first IBTimes UK article, Act One of the Ashley Madison Affair, McAfee suggested the hackers did not exist, citing “reliable sources within the Dark Web – which have yet to fail me.” In the post, McAfee outlines his theory:

Today, I can confidently claim that the single person is a woman, and has recently worked within Avid Life Media. I have provided IBTimes UK background information and pertinent elements of the woman’s data dump to prove both my access to the data and also to confirm elements of my research, under the strict conditions that it is to be referenced and then destroyed.

Read More: John McAfee Arrested On Charges Of DUI & Handgun Possession

McAfee after his arrest earlier this month.

McAfee says he came to this conclusion thanks to his experience in cyber-security breaches. He can “quickly identify gender” when there are enough “emotionally charged words from an individual.”

McAfee says he can tell the “hack” was instead an inside job thanks to the information leaked. For instance, an office layout for the Ashley Madison offices.

“This would normally exist only in the office of personnel management, the maintenance department, and possibly a few other places,” he writes. “It would certainly not be in the centralised database. Neither would it be of much value to the average hacker.”

Among other odd things found in the data dump is an organization chart for each Avid Life division. He believes this seems “odd to dig up.”

Same with a stock option agreement list. “Of what value would this be considering the hacker had already made off with potentially billions?” he rhetorically asks.

According to McAfee, the most telling evidence the perpetrator was a woman was calling men on the website “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.

“These are just a few of the many strangely included files that would take even a top notch hacker years to gather, and seem to have little or no value,” McAfee concludes. “Any reasonable cybersecurity expert would come to the conclusion that only someone on the inside, who could easily gain all of the files through deception and guile, could have done the job.”

McAfee was in headlines in recent weeks after being arrested while driving under the influence of pills prescribed to him.

McAfee retired to Belize after his success in the antivirus industry.

Featured image from Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.

Justin O'Connell is the founder of financial technology focused Justin organized the launch of the largest Bitcoin ATM hardware and software provider in the world at the historical Hotel del Coronado in southern California. His works appear in the U.S.'s third largest weekly, the San Diego Reader, VICE and elsewhere.