John McAfee's Chadder: Bloggers point and laugh

John McAfee

John says it's secure -- what more evidence do you need?

Lovable rogue John McAfee is promoting a new secure IM app. Named Chadder, it promises NSA-proof encryption and super ease of use.

Lest we forget, John is nothing to do with the eponymous company, now owned by Intel (NASDAQ:INTC).

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers make like Ronnie -- and verify.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.


Grant Gross gives context:

Web users and developers should take new steps to avoid surveillance by the [NSA] and other spy organizations, a group of privacy and digital rights advocates deploying new privacy tools. June 5 [will be] the anniversary of the first news stories about NSA surveillance based on leaks by...Edward Snowden.

The NSA and the [DoJ] have defended the surveillance programs, saying they are targeted at terrorists.  MORE


Same-old-same-old? Neil McAllister's prayers for a juicy story were answered:

Antivirus pioneer and one-time fugitive John McAfee has lent his support to Chadder, a new instant-messaging app...that promises "the highest degree of security and privacy." ... As far as we can tell, however, Chadder was actually developed by Etransfr.

Etransfr can't read users' messages, the company claims, because only the intended recipient of a message will have the key needed to decrypt it.

McAfee, 68, rose to prominence in the 1980s as the founder of McAfee Associates, but later disavowed the antivirus software that bore his name. ... Intel has since retired the brand, and McAfee the man has been known more for his bizarre recent years.  MORE


But Jared Newman eyerolls thuswise:

The former anti-virus software creator and international fugitive is promoting a new app called Chadder, which claims to keep messages secure. ... However, the app appears to be in extremely rough shape.

In our testing, I wasn't able to find my fellow app tester by name. ... Entering a code in the “claim code” field simply caused that code to disappear. [It] is far from being user-friendly.

The extent of McAfee's involvement with Chadder isn't clear. ... Etransfer said that it has been developing Chadder for only one month. ... McAfee enjoys bashing the company that still bears his name. But without a little quality control, his new venture isn't going to fare any better.  MORE


Bizarrely, John McAfee's PR flacks seem to think "app" is an acronym for something: [Always Poor Punctuation? -Ed.]

CHADDER is an unprecedented messaging platform. We have developed this highly secure system with an extraordinary team of developers at the prestigious RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology). ... CHADDER is a fun and easy to use messaging APP that happens to keep your communications private. So private that we can't see it ourselves  MORE


Undoubtably, Kif Leswing uses the word "dubious":

There are a lot of new secure messaging apps launching lately. It’s a matter of timing. ... Now John McAfee, antivirus pioneer and former international fugitive, has...slapped his name on one.

Although secure encryption is Chadder’s main selling point, etransfer doesn’t elaborate. ... The marketing materials...imply end-to-end encryption, although the four-digit code means that Chadder is...storing private keys.

In addition to Telegram, the big daddy in the space, there are a variety of secure services vying to encrypt your messages. Confide promises to be a Snapchat for executives, Redphone encrypts phone calls, and Peter Sunde, the founder of the Pirate Bay, is planning to launch Hemlis.  MORE


Meanwhile, Seth Graham digs into the descriptions:

Too bad the product is bull****, putting your messages on a server you don't control is the problem we've been worried about ever since Snowden. And the recipient doesn't even need to unlock the message read it, it's just magically legible? How the *** does that work?

Your data [will be] rotting on someone's server just waiting for the NSA to swing by and scoop it up.  MORE

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