John McAfee launching funding drive for password replacement technology

John McAfee takes time out of presidential bid to push to make passwords obsolete.
John McAfee takes time out of presidential bid to push to make passwords obsolete.

Cybersecurity legend and former fugitive John McAfee has launched a crowdfunding campaign to replace passwords.

The McAfee Antivirus founder started an Indiegogo campaign this week for his Everykey project, which he claimed would securely unlock users' devices and enter their passwords.

The project is portrayed as a “master key” and so far has raised $63,000, or around 300 per cent of its original goal of $20,000.

Characteristically, McAfee said the project was “a f*cking game changer”.

"When our team first conceptualised Everykey, security was a top priority," said McAfee. "That's why we've built in military grade encryption and safety features like the ability to remotely freeze your Everykey if it's lost or stolen."

He said Everykey would work not only on smartphones and PCs but also on Bluetooth-enabled cars and doors. It uses Bluetooth to connect hardware to Everykey and can enter passwords stored on servers. Everykey will inlock a device when it is near a device and will lock them again when out of range. The device stores passwords using military-grade encryption.

If an Everykey is lost, it can be deactivated to the hardware no longer recognises the dongle. 

The project plans to start shipping the devices some time in March with donors able to choose perks such as multiple Everykeys, key rings and charging cables.

“When we looked at the access control industry, we saw an outdated and insecure system. We wanted to build something that was more personal and convenient. Instead of carrying a bulky keychain and remembering a list of passwords, we want your access control to be something you don't have to think about. That was our dream back when this was just a school project, and we're making it a reality with Everykey," said Everykey CEO Chris Wentz.

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