Cybersecurity Iconoclast McAfee Travels to China to Warn About IoT Security



John McAfee recently issued a warning in China about the importance of internet of things cybersecurity. The internet anti-virus pioneer had time to travel to a foreign country that isn’t Belize after losing his bid for the Libertarian nomination for U.S. president to Gary Johnson.

“China is taking the lead in putting intelligence into devices, from refrigerators to smart thermostats, and this is our weakest link in cybersecurity,” McAfee told the China Internet Security Conference in Beijing Aug. 16, where he was the keynote speaker.

There are more internet-connected devices in China than in any other country, according to the research firm IDC, which estimates that the IoT market in China will increase from $193 billion in 2015 to $361 billion by 2020.

McAfee emphasized that it is much more important to provide security for internet-connected devices than large computers and smartphones, because there are so many more of them that provide millions of individual access points.

Chinese companies, such as Xiaomi Inc., have produced smart rice cookers and Broadlink, a smart home producers that developed BroadLinkBNA that will make conventional home appliances smart.

McAfee also essentially praised the Chinese government’s ability to keep cybersecurity breaches from being publicized, when he said that U.S. companies and the government have faced “hundreds of major hacks from around the world” last year, though he had “heard nothing” about breaches in China.

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