Saturday, July 29, 2017

John McAfee on Security, Privacy, Cryptocurrency and Education

This is an interview by John McAfee.

Who is he? He's the anti-virus guy, yup.

He is also the guy that said he would eat his d*ck if bitcoin doesn't go to $50,000.

Hah, he's a funny and smart guy. Here's the interview.

GMGH notes:
- phones are all spying devices
- however, the risk is based on who is doing the spying and what is the spied data used for
- the paradigm of security has shifted and the focus on AV is outdated
- instead of facing the by-product of hackers, the focus should be on the hackers
- "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear" BULLSHIT
- privacy is fundamental to the workings of society
- hackers don't hack small fries as opportunities appear because it would reveal their exploit
- zero-day exploits are run simultaneously at a specific time to maximize their profit
- don't store anything of value on a cloud not managed by you
- if you do store anything on a cloud, be sure to encrypt it
- Bitcoin came out of Pandora's Box - the technology has been released and cannot be supressed
- a lot of coins are SCAMS
- if you are going to be involved in any cryptocurrency, you need to educate yourself
- hardware wallets / offline wallets are the best way to secure your crypto wallets
- to create good security, you need to work with good security exploiters
- in 10 or 15 years, colleges or universities will not exist (I beg to differ)
- why store things in the human brain when you can use technology instead?
- education and the transfer of knowledge in its current form should be questioned if it will persist
- S7 cannot be remotely rooted (as of Mar 2017)
- iPhones are the most hackable phones

This interview is a culmination of many of my most passionate topics: cyber-security, privacy, cryptocurrency and education (hence, the title). I love it.

Cyber Security

I truly and honestly believe that most people have extremely weak and poor cyber security. I have made a series of posts on cyber security, but I've been too busy to finish the series.

#1 The security-convenience continuum
#2 "Safer than your neighbour" Theory

It's going to be a long while until I can go back to writing more, but the single, best tip and advice that I can give is for you to use a password manager. I recommend Dashlane and I use it myself for 95% of all my passwords. My referral link gets you 6 months free premium if you want to give it a shot. I strongly, strongly, strongly recommend a password manager. Use LassPass, 1Password, Keepass or whatever. Even a freaking paper and pencil notebook will do, as long as you don't re-use passwords. But by golly, have a system in place to manage your passwords.

Next, keep all your devices and software up to date. Security updates are pushed out for a reason.


I'm not paranoid... I'm just worried the MRT breaksdown

McAfee explained privacy really well given that he had to just pump it out and squeeze it into this short interview. I believe that privacy is a basic human right for everyone to have. If you decide to waive all rights to your privacy and live in the Google or Apple ecosystem, well congratulations to you, but don't drag me down with you.

Just because you decide to waive that right to privacy DOES NOT mean that others should have to waive their rights as well.

Likewise if you decide to go on a diet, be vegan, not eat a specific type of meat or food... hey, good for you, all right? But you have no right to force your dietary preferences on me. I WILL NOT BE DENIED.

Question: Why should I waive my rights to privacy just because you have?
Answer: I shouldn't and I will not. What I do is none of your damn business.

Allowing SOME people a certain magical power to decide who will have or will not have privacy is god-like powers to give anyone. It is a slippery slope that sets the precedence for power and abuse.

Imagine if someone can dictate what we can eat and how much. At first it's pretty legit stuff - banning the consumption poisonous things,and live human infants. Then it goes on to maybe.. GM food? Or maybe dog meat and cat meat? Then hamster meat? Then pig meat? Then chicken meat? Then McDonalds? Then pizza and hamburgers? Then then then.

Now imagine if someone can dictate who gets privacy and how much of it. At first it's pretty legit stuff - no privacy for known terrorists and criminals. Then it goes on to maybe... suspected criminals? Or the family and friends of those people? Then to all emails? Then to everyone on everything that they do. Then then then.

I hate and loathe the "but criminals use will it" argument. Hey, criminals breathe air, drink water, sleep on beds, use cars to travel around and telephones and the internet to communicate as well. OMG let's stop everyone from using all of them? NO SHOES FOR EVERYONE BECAUSE CRIMINALS ALSO WEAR SHOES. Hmmm, or maybe instead of a blanket ban we can control who is allowed to and not allowed to use certain things or do certain actions? Well it won't work. Guess who are the first people not to give a rat's ass about any official rules (laws)? That's right. Criminals don't give a shit if they are allowed to do something or not, that's the reason why they are criminals, jeez.

"Sir here is your new phone"
"Thanks. Can you teach me how to lock it?"
"Lock it? What do you mean?"
"I mean, how do I prevent people from accessing my phone"
"LOL sir, since the law changed in 2018, no phones are allowed to have passwords anymore! Only criminals need to restrict access from others because they have criminal activity they need to hide!"
"Aha that makes so much sense. Yeah, luckily I have no nudes or porn activity or private information to hide. Thank you!"


I won't say much here, except that you really need to understand ANYTHING that you are investing in, regardless of it being a cryptocurrency or an endowment plan from the cute xmm agent. Not knowing what you're doing is a guaranteed way to be unsatisfied with the outcome.

Store your crypto in a hardware wallet if you don't want to have it stolen. I use a Ledger Nano S.

Crypto is unregulated. It's the wild wild west. There are plenty of scams. A lot. So many. Beware.


I actually appreciate his random points of education that he brought up.

I find that the value of my education is NOT about acquiring and remembering knowledge and experience in doing various things.

I find that the value of my education is from learning how to learn to do things.

Don't know how to invest? Do you sign up for a business degree, take a module on finance and suddenly become Warren Buffet's Asian respawn? No. Fire up the internet and read until your eyes bleed and you get a headache.

At the end of the day, what is more important - having a piece of paper that SAYS you can do it? Or actually being able to do it?

I wouldn't say that our education system is shit. I'm a complete product of it. I think I turned out pretty okay. But I feel a lot of my educational journey was me trying to apply what I learnt to real life, through lots of trial and error.

No school teaches you how to buy cheap airline tickets. How to select an accommodation that suits both your budget and itinerary. A good way to track your investments. If buying a car makes financial sense. Which credit card you should use. No school will teach you that. No school can teach you that.

But you can learn how to learn. You can learn what's the best way to do all these things. And as McAfee says, the information is sitting behind the screen of whatever device you're holding. Unless you operate in a job that forbids internet access, there is no reason to handicap yourself and limit your knowledge to your brain space.

One of the biggest upgrades that I have done in my life is to have an Evernote premium account. It sounds stupid and weird, but it is my virtual brain. I type in and store anything that I think I might need to recall in the future. Mostly it is just smatterings of rudimentary instructions, or a short after-activity report about something which I think is important to know.

It's insanely refreshing not to have to remember ridiculous and trivial pieces of information in your brain and instead outsource it to this virtual brain. Just like how the address book have completely outsourced remember phone numbers, and Facebook have outsourced remembering birthdays, Evernote is helping me outsource the rest of the things I need to remember.

Anyway, this is a lot of ranting, but it's just some thoughts I had over the weekend. I spent a lot of time thinking about it, a bit hesitant to post it because it's bits of things here and there but oh well. I strongly urge you, dear reader, to take a few minutes and think about cyber security and privacy. You may realize that you are uncomfortable with your lax system and bad practices. The good news is that being self-aware is the first step to fixing your problems.

GMGH out.


  1. Hi GMGH, where u got ur ledger nano from?

    1. Hi Anon, I got mine overseas from a friend. Locally I think you can get from coinzin or pennywise, although I understand that the backlog is massive and would take weeks if not months to arrive after placing a pre-order.

  2. Hi

    I am a retiree, I am impress with bit coin, may i know is coinbase reliable. Or would you recommend one or two to me. Thanks


    1. Hi Victor, I use coinbase and I think that it is reliable, but a bit more expensive. However, the user experience is very clean and straight forward, so it's a good beginner's platform.

      If you are a beginner, I would not recommend anything else. If you progress in knowledge and experience, you should be able to easily find other cheaper and better (but more complex) coin exchanges.

  3. HI GMGH,

    Thank you for your useful articles about CC. I, and possibly other readers, am interested to dabble into the CC investing (or gambling) but am overwhelmed by the segregated resources available online for trading CC in Singapore. I would be deeply grateful if you could put into a guide for newbies in Singapore to get started:

    1. Opening a wallet: It seems that you have personal experience with Ledge Nano S. Perhaps you could share your experience in using it and how readers might purchase one?
    2. Opening an exchange account: Could you kindly share what are the exchanges you recommend for trading the common CC (such as BTC (or BCC), ETH and NEO) in Singapore?
    3. Conducting a trade: This is probably the most inhibitive step for most readers, including myself. Could you share an illustration how does one proceed from holding fiat currency to purchasing CC and transferring to a private wallet (like Ledger Nano S) as well as what to take note of such as fees involved?

    I understand this is a lot to ask for but would be awesome if you would be so kind to put together such a guide. Thanks :)

    1. Hi Anon,

      Thanks for commenting. I have a "toolkit" post on draft that I've been working on for some time. I'll be cleaning it up and posting it soon. It might not be as structured and as detailed as you might like, but I'll just post it up and let readers digest it.

      Please let me know on that post if there's anything else you'd like to know or need to be clarified.

      I rather not repeat things that could easily be found on sites like steemit or youtube and instead focus on Singapore specific posts, such as local exchanges and unique points to note. I do plan on sharing my flowchart from having SGD in your bank account all the way to having it secured in a hardware wallet, but posts take time and the crypto markets are on fire and need my attention, haha

  4. Hi GMGH, what's your take on the bitcoin fork where underlying cryptocurrency being duplicated. In what way you were affected by it? Do bitcoin cash would eventually overtake the original bitcoin?

    Do you see other cryptocurrencies doing the same hard fork?

    1. Hi Anon,

      The bitcoin fork was just another alt-coin airdrop that was distributed based on BTC addresses. This has been done multiple times in the past for the creation and distribution of other alt-coins. Just because it has the "bitcoin" name does not make it in any way comparable to bitcoin.

      I think it's a scam and shit coin and I have sold off all my BCC to BTC. I believe that BCC's true value is $0, but similar to ETC, BCC will continue to live on as a zombie blockchain, useful only for speculation and politicizing self-interest by groups involved in bitcoin's development. With billions at stake, it shouldn't be a surprise that ridiculous power grabs like these happen. The risk/reward is very high, but as is currently showing, the network is quite resistant to stupidity.

      Forks are meaningless without any significant changes AND user adoption. Hard forks happen all the time on many cryptos. It just so happens that 99% of users usually follow the hard fork upgrades.

      Hard forks are not contentious issues. It only is when one group decides not to follow the majority and decides to "fork off" and create their own alt-coin. ETC was a good example of this happening, and now BCC again.

      If BCC overtakes BTC, I'd be like McAcfee and eat my dick on tv.

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