John McAfee Used Social Engineering to Escape from Belize

The antivirus pioneer explains how he managed to flee from authorities

By on December 28th, 2012 12:27 GMT

The climax of the John McAfee saga appears to be over, but the antivirus guru still has a lot to say about his Belizean adventures. In his last blog post, he described how he and his girlfriend Sam managed to escape from Belize after authorities started pursuing him for the murder of his neighbor.

McAfee claims that on January 3, 2013, he will publish a detailed blog post to “say what he could not say while in Belize.” In the meantime, he wrote another lengthy post to explain how he escaped from Belize, in some cases relying on social engineering to slip by the police.

Despite the fact that he has had nothing to do with the security solutions provider company he founded for over a decade, it appears that McAfee has still got the skills.

“I chose a few very simple social engineering tricks to effect our escape. Social engineering is the art of predicting people’s behavior based on given stimuli. It is the method of choice for modern computer hackers wishing to gain access to sensitive data,” McAfee explained.

“Cracking a computer system’s security electronically, for example, can be difficult. Tricking a secretary or system manager into simply giving you the access is simple. It requires a cute young man, or [an attractive] woman, or a correct role playing scenario, a little software and a little bit of time,” he added.

“Social engineering can be applied to any problem, not just computer hacking problems. Distractions and decoys, for example, have been used for centuries as primitive social engineering tools.”

For instance, one of his plans to get by three highway checkpoints involved the blog post he published about him being arrested. As soon as Belize radio stations started broadcasting the news of his arrest, the checkpoint procedures became more relaxed.

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