Overhaul your WFH setup with these deals on desks, monitors, keyboards and more

Working from home may sound nice, but if you don’t have a proper setup, it can be pretty unproductive. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to transform your space into a productivity haven — you just need the right equipment. And you’re just in time, too. We’ve found a ton of keyboards, mice, monitors, and desks on sale to help you overhaul your space. Some of them are even up to 53% off.

Keyboards

TAP STRAP 2: All-in-1 Wearable Keyboard, Mouse, and Controller 

Command computer accessories from your hand with TAP STRAP 2, an all-in-one wearable keyboard, mouse, and controller. Typically $199, it’s 24% off at just $149.95

Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard with Touch-Pad

Keep your desk organized with the Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard with Touch-Pad that you can easily store away at the end of your workday. Order it for only $69.95, an 11% drop from its regular price of $79.

Roller Wireless Rollable Keyboard

For a more convenient way to type, grab the Roller Wireless Rollable Keyboard, which has the impressive capability of lasting up to 288 hours. Don’t miss out on this deal that’s just $61.95 (regularly $69). 

Gotek Slim Wireless Keyboard

This 64-key QWERTY keyboard features function keys including home, search, copy/paste/cut, and multi-media play. Plus, you can easily take it with you anywhere, making its affordable price of $39.95 (regularly $49) totally worth it. 

Apple Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad (Certified Refurbished) 

Can’t stand the layout of your MacBook keyboard? Expand it with the Apple Magic Keyboard, featuring a full numeric keypad. Even though it’s a certified refurbished product, it’ll feel as good as new for $99.99 (regularly $129).

Matias Backlit Wireless Aluminum Keyboard for Mac

The battery-powered Matias Backlit Wireless Aluminum Keyboard for Mac is the convenient Apple keyboard you’ve been waiting for. Use the promo code MATIAS26 to get it for just $113 (regularly $139). 

Matias Backlit Wireless Multi-Pairing Keyboard for PC

You can literally cut the cord with the Matias Backlit Wireless Multi-Pairing Keyboard for PC. It lasts up to three months before needing to be charged again and costs just $80 (regularly $99) with the coupon code MATIAS.

Matias Mini Tactile Pro Keyboard for Mac

You’ll be able to type faster and more comfortably with the compact Matias Mini Tactile Pro Keyboard for Mac. Add the code MATIASMINI at checkout to pay $110.95, instead of the regular price of $129. 

Matias Programmable Ergo Pro Keyboard

Enhance the health of your hands with the ergonomic Matias Programmable Ergo Pro Keyboard. Grab it for $40 off with the coupon code ERGOPRO and pay just $180 (regularly $220). 

Matias RGB Backlit Wired Aluminum Keyboard

Light up your desk with the Matias RGB Backlit Wired Aluminum Keyboard featuring backlighting. It can be yours for $80 (regularly $99) with the code MATIASRGB.

Apple Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard (Refurbished)

You no longer have to stress out about typing on your tiny laptop keyboard. Upgrade to this refurbished Apple Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard that’s around 40% off, which brings the price tag down to a low $59.99 (regularly $99). 

Apple Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad (Refurbished)

Are you an Apple enthusiast who longs for a numeric keypad? Get one with this refurbished version of the Apple Magic Keyboard, featuring a numeric keypad, for only $119.99 (regularly $149). 

Thunder Fire 2.4G Gaming Keyboard and Mouse Set

Treat yourself to the ultimate gaming experience via the Thunder Fire 2.4G Gaming Keyboard and Mouse Set. It’s available for over 50% off, so you’ll pay just $53.99 (regularly $116) for the set.

Mice and Mouse Accessories

MagicGrips for Apple Magic Mouse 1 and 2 

Save your wrists from all that uncomfortable trackpad scrolling. Regularly $14, the MagicGrips for Apple Magic Mouse 1 and 2 are on sale for just $10.99

Wireless Charging Mouse Pad

Charging your devices doesn’t have to be a pain. You’ll be able to conveniently power-up your mouse and smartphone by placing it on top with this Wireless Charging Mouse Pad for a budget-friendly $16.99 (regularly $25). 

Sinji Ergonomic Mouse

No more dealing with pain or numbness throughout the workday, as the Sinji Ergonomic Mouse delivers a more comfortable scroll. Usually $33, you can order it on sale for just $22.95.

Apple Magic Mouse 2 Multi-Touch Bluetooth (Refurbished) 

This deal on a refurbished Apple Magic Mouse 2 is too good to pass up, especially with the practical price tag of $79.99 (regularly $99). You’ll be able to scroll easier and it lasts about a month in between charges. 

Numi Power Mat: Wireless Charging Mouse Pad

Get rid of the clunky wires around your desk and turn to the Numi Power Mat: Wireless Charging Mouse Pad. It’s a space-saving trick that will keep your desk more organized, and it’s only $32.99 (regularly $39).

Ninja Dragon Stealth 7 Wireless Silent LED Backlit Mouse

Step up your game with the Ninja Dragon Stealth 7 Wireless Silent LED Backlit Mouse that’s ergonomic, will make more precise moves, and so much more. It can be yours for a low $27.99 (regularly $39) for a limited time. 

Portable Laptop Stand with Mouse Pad

With the Portable Laptop Stand that includes a mouse pad, you’ll be able to use your laptop in more comfortable positions. Get the set for just $46.95 (regularly $54).

Alpha Bravo GZ-1 Wired Gaming Mouse

Don’t use a standard mouse for gaming; upgrade to the Alpha Bravo GZ-1 Wired Gaming Mouse for more precise movements. It won’t break the bank, as it’ll only cost $29.95 (regularly $69) with the coupon code VEHO40.

HAVIT Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Gaming with the mouse that came with your desktop is a total struggle. Avoid the pain and discomfort with the HAVIT Ergonomic Gaming Mouse that’s selling for a super low $14.99 (regularly $18). 

Desks and Desk Accessories

Offex Overlord PC Gamer Computer Desk

The Offex Overlord PC Gamer Computer Desk, which features a cup holder, headphone hook, and more is the ultimate desk upgrade. For a limited time, it’s just $239.99 (regularly $316). 

Quest PC Gamer Computer Desk

If you’re big on gaming and use your office for business and pleasure, the Quest PC Gamer Computer Desk was made for you. Usually $298, you can grab it on sale for just $219.99.

Mount-It! Height Adjustable Sit-Stand Desk Converter

Improve your posture ASAP by switching to the Mount-It! Height Adjustable Sit-Stand Desk Converter. Add it to your space for $182.99 (regularly $199) and see how much more comfortable you’ll be throughout the day. 

EC1 Electric Height Adjustable Standing Desk

Give yourself a choice between standing or sitting with the EC1 Electric Height Adjustable Standing Desk. It’s easily adjustable and, for a limited time, it’s 15% off at $254.99 (regularly $299).

KeySmart TaskPad Wireless Charging Desk Pad

Elevate your desk with the water-resistant, stain-resistant, and scratch-free KeySmart TaskPad. Regularly, it’s priced at $119, but you can get it on sale for just $99.99.

FlexiSpot M7C Desk Riser with Deep Keyboard Tray

For an easy way to expand your desk, buy the FlexiSpot M7C Desk Riser with Deep Keyboard Tray. It’ll give you more space to work for only $149.99 (regularly $169).

Apple Magic Trackpad (Refurbished)

Scrolling through websites will be 30 percent more productive and comfortable with the Apple Magic Trackpad. This refurbished version is originally $149, but for a limited time, it’s just $129.99

Monitors

Mobile Pixels DUEX Pro Portable Dual Monitor

Double your productivity by having two screens, courtesy of the Mobile Pixels DUEX Pro Portable Dual Monitor. Instead of paying $249, add the promo code SAVEDUEXPRO to bring the price down to just $180

Mobile Pixels TRIO: Portable Dual Screen Laptop Monitor

The Mobile Pixels TRIO: Portable Dual Screen Laptop Monitor raised over $1.4 million on Indiegogo and it fuels the skill of multi-tasking. Bring it into your WFH lifestyle for just $215 (regularly $259) using the promo code SCREEN44.

Mobile Pixels TRIO MAX: Portable Dual Screen Laptop Monitor

If you want to game, work, and check your stocks at the same time, the Mobile Pixels TRIO MAX allows you to do just that. Snag $79 off with the coupon code SCREEN49 and pay only $240 (regularly $319).

Samsung SE650 Series LED Monitor (Certified Refurbished)

Purchase another screen for your PC for less, thanks to the certified-refurbished Samsung SE650 Series LED Monitor. It’s available for just $209.99, a price that’s been discounted by 30% from its original price.

Samsung SR35 FHD Monitor (Certified Refurbished)

Upgrade your setup with brilliant visuals and crisp images with the Samsung SR35 FHD Monitor. Despite being a certified-refurbished purchase, it’ll feel brand new for just $179.99 (regularly $249).

Samsung UR59C Series Curved UHD Monitor (Certified Refurbished)

Create an immersive viewing experience for yourself by adding the Samsung UR59C Series Curved UHD Monitor to your space. Make the investment for $399.99, which is still a steal considering it’s usually $599. 

Snag a portable speaker for the spring — this one’s nearly 30% off

TL;DR: As of March 6, get a refurbished JBL Flip 5 and a protective storage case for $99.99 — a 28% savings.


If you’re looking for a way to take your tunes outside this spring, turn to JBL’s portable speaker lineup. The JBL Flip 5 is a particularly good option — and for a limited time, you can snag one on sale for under $100.

This lightweight speaker connects to Bluetooth to play music from your device. You can count on it to deliver great sound; plus, the Flip 5 can hold its own in wet conditions. And when the night is over, you can simply store it in its case until you use it again.

You can also buy two and pair them together for stereo sound with PartyBoost technology. Use them at home to amplify your movie-watching experience or put them on opposite sides of the room to blast your favorite tunes. With a 12-hour battery life, you don’t have to worry about them running low on juice. It makes sense why this is one of the highest-rated Bluetooth speakers on Amazon —it’s a no-frills speaker that actually does what it says it does.

Normally the JBL Flip 5 retails for $139, but for a limited time, you can get a refurbished one for just $99.99.

Learn to code online with this $35 Python training

TL;DR: Get started on learning programming languages with the The 2021 Premium Python Certification Bootcamp Bundle, on sale for 98% off. As of March 6, get the 13-class bundle for only $34.99.


Interested in learning Python, the general-purpose language often used for data science and machine learning? While it is considered one of the easier languages to learn, it never hurts to have some guidance — and this Premium Python Bootcamp will get you started off on the right foot. 

This digital e-learning experience features 13 courses totaling 41 hours. You’ll kick things off with the absolute basics, where you’ll learn the basics of computer programming and get familiar with the Python interface.

Then the bootcamp will move on to more advanced concepts. You’ll even experiment, test, and debug the code you made yourself. By the end of your studies, you’ll have the capability to develop impressive Python applications in as little as a few minutes.

This Premium Python Bootcamp is regularly worth over $2,500, with each course costing about $200 a pop. But you won’t have to worry about that hefty price tag. You’ll only have to pay $34.99 to take on this challenge.

Improve your golf swing with a handy training device on sale

TL;DR: Get ready for golf season with TheHANGER Golf Training Aid, on sale for $55.99 — a 20% savings — as of March 6.


No matter how long you’ve been playing, golf can be frustrating. Instead of getting in your head about it, try finding tools that can help improve arguably the most vital part of the game: your swing.

If you can’t afford a lesson or can’t seem to pick things up through online videos, theHANGER can help deliver helpful next-level instruction. The device attaches to your club and provides instant feedback that you can use to get better.

Here’s a closer look at how it all works: 

Regularly, this golf training aid costs $69, but for a limited time, you can knock 20% off the regular price and snag it for just $55.99.

How to unblock and watch Japanese Netflix from the UK

SAVE 49%: A one-year subscription to ExpressVPN is on sale for £4.91 per month as of March 6, and includes an extra three months for free.


We would like the attention of all anime fans, because there is a simple method of accessing a lot of extra content from Japan, and it costs less than £5 a month. 

A one-year subscription to ExpressVPN is on sale for £4.91 per month as of March 6, and includes an extra three months for free. This VPN is probably the best service for streaming content, with strong connection speeds, powerful encryption, and a diverse network of servers. It can also reliably access Netflix libraries from around the world.

To unblock and watch Japanese Netflix, all you need to do is download ExpressVPN, connect to a server in Japan, and then log in to your Netflix account. This will trick Netflix into thinking you are based in Japan, meaning you can watch all of the extra movies, shows, and anime that would normally be unavailable.

Watch extra content from around the world with a subscription to ExpressVPN.

Explore related content:

Save 98% on this comprehensive CompTIA certification bundle

TL;DR: The 2021 Complete CompTIA Certification Prep Super Bundle is on sale for £49.40 as of March 6, saving you 98% on list price.


It’s no secret that money lies in the tech industry. What’s a bit vaguer is how to get there and make that career possible. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to go back to school to get the basics. You can save time and thousands of pounds in the process, and get started in a career in IT security, risk management, and more, from the comfort of your home. How? Glad you asked.

This CompTIA certification bundle includes 16 courses and over 1,500 lessons on IT basics, networks, the cloud, security, and more. The best part? University is replaced with iCollege, a marketplace for e-learning, established in 2003 under XpertSkills. iCollege is the organisation trusted by major tech hubs to equip employees hired in Silicon Valley and more. It’s even an official CompTIA partner, so you know no topic or fundamental skill will be left behind or ignored.

In this training guide, you’ll start by gaining the skills needed to earn entry-level certification in CompTIA IT Fundamentals. You’ll cover topics including hardware basics, troubleshooting, and software installation. Then, you’ll move on to absorbing the core knowledge required of any cybersecurity role. Most importantly, there are key courses included that will help you ace the CompTIA A+ 220-1001 and 220-1002 exams. You’ll also be able to design and implement a functional network in an easy-to-understand way. Make sure there are no blind spots in your training by completing the presentations, workbooks, games, and quizzes you encounter along the way.

Normally, this comprehensive course bundle is priced at over £3,000 — especially since you get lifetime access to every course, allowing you to learn at your own pace. But for a limited time, you can gain access to all 16 courses and 1,500 lessons for just £49.40.

5 of the best water flossers for improving your oral hygiene

Picture yourself in the dentist’s chair. Everything is going fine. The dentist has worked his way around your mouth reeling off those confusing letters and numbers, and his tone seems cheery. The assistant smiles at you. All is well. You’ve clearly nailed this. And then everything changes with a question. 

The dentist asks you whether you’ve been flossing, and the mood instantly switches. You start to sweat. The lights suddenly feel harsher and somehow brighter. You can feel the heat on your face. You’re turning red now. Your mouth is so dry. No, you haven’t been flossing regularly, and now you’ve got to come clean. There’s no point trying to avoid the question. The dentist’s eyes are burning into your soul. 

You admit it, and the disappointment is palpable. You’ve let everyone down. If only you had just started flossing like you promised you would do on your last visit. It’s just so hard to get into the routine. If only there was an easier way of staying on top of your oral hygiene and not let your dentist down.

We know the struggle, and you’re not alone. Flossing isn’t for everyone, but it is an essential part of maintaining a healthy mouth. For those who can’t commit to traditional flossing methods, we recommend checking out water flossers (sometimes known as oral irrigators).

Do you actually need to floss?

We’re sorry to burst your brushing bubble, but good dental hygiene involves more than just brushing your pearly whites. Brushing is obviously an important part of the process, and still helps to remove plaque and prevent cavities, but you need to do more to keep your teeth healthy and prevent gum disease.

Flossing helps reach all the places that your electric toothbrush can't access.

Flossing helps reach all the places that your electric toothbrush can’t access.

Image: amazon

Flossing is the answer, because it get in between your teeth to lifts and removes plaque. Basically, flossing helps keep your mouth sqeaky clean by reaching all the places that your electric toothbrush can’t access. Brushing can only really clean the front and back of your teeth, so what about the sides? If you don’t clean these areas, you’re asking for plaque buildup and gum disease.

Do water flossers work?

It’s clear that flossing is absolutely essential, but can you get away with just using a water flosser? The experts at Oral-B state that it’s “not recommended to replace traditional flossing with water flossing.” Instead, you should incorporate both traditional and water flossing to your daily routine.

Water flossers still do a stellar job of keeping you fresh and clean. They shoot a stream of water into your mouth which effectively removes food particles and plaque build-up. Oral-B states that “they cannot replicate the scraping motion of string floss that removes tartar-causing plaque,” but these devices still have a really positive impact on your overall oral hygiene. 

The primary advantage that a water flosser has over the traditional technique is convenience. The process is simply not as physically taxing, and you don’t need to fumble around with some slippery floss. These devices are also better suited to anyone undergoing orthodontic work, as the water can easily clear out food and debris that gets trapped in and around the brackets. Elderly people or anyone with manual dexterity problems could also benefit from a water flosser.

How do you use a water flosser?

Water flossers are easy to use, but we’ll still breakdown the process so there are no doubts. We’re nice like that. This is the step-by-step guide to using your water flosser:

Add water — OK, this might seem obvious, but you’ll need water to use your water flosser. We’re just covering all bases. You’ll need to either connect your water flosser to the tap or fill the reservoir with lukewarm water.

Aim — Whatever you do, don’t start your water flosser without first placing the nozzle firmly in your mouth. We wouldn’t want you to spray water all over your bathroom. We’ll leave you to decide on the best order to floss your teeth, but you should direct the device away from your target area rather than directly against your teeth and gums. This might be a good time to lean over the sink, because there is always going to be a risk of a leak.

Find your perfect pressure setting — At this point you can play around with the water pressure. The pressure should be high enough to actually get the job done, but always start with the lowest pressure setting and work your way up. It’s all about finding the right balance between power and comfort.

Don't start your water flosser without first placing the nozzle firmly in your mouth.

Don’t start your water flosser without first placing the nozzle firmly in your mouth.

Image: amazon

Direction — Work your way around your mouth, targeting one tooth at a time. You should direct the water at your gum line and at the areas between your teeth. There is no golden rule for how long you should hold the water over each tooth, but two seconds should be more than enough.

Remove water — We’ve come full circle, and at this point you just need to turn off the device, remove the nozzle, and drain the remaining water from the reservoir. It’s important to not skip this step, because leaving water in your reservoir can result in bacterial growth.

Cleaning — This whole process is about improving your oral hygiene, so it would kind of defeat the point to not clean your water flosser’s reservoir after every session. It only takes a few seconds, but it’s a crucial activity. Don’t forget.

Follow these simple steps and you should quickly see an improvement in your general oral hygiene. 

What is the best water flosser?

We’ve covered the benefits of flossing, whether water flossers work, and how to use a water flosser, and now there is only one thing left to cover. There are plenty of water flossers on offer from top personal care brands, but which model is the best?

We have checked out everything out there from top brands like Oral-B, Philips, and Waterpik, and highlighted a selection of your best options. There should be something for everyone and every budget in this list, whether you’re an experienced flosser or total beginner.

These are the best water flossers in 2021.

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Image: waterpik

The Good

Rechargeable battery • Travel bag and travel water plug • 360-degree tip rotation • Three pressure settings

The Bad

Not the largest reservoir • More powerful options out there

The Bottom Line

A compact and cordless water flosser that’s great for travel and smaller bathrooms.

Waterpik WP-562UK

Cordless water flosser is lightweight and portable, and comes with a travel bag and water plug so you can always stay on top of your oral hygiene.

The Waterpik WP-560UK cordless advanced water flosser delivers consistent and reliable performance through a combination of high water volume, pulsations, and optimal pressure.
This compact and lightweight model is ideal for smaller bathrooms and travel, and comes with a travel bag and water plug. You also get a 200 ml reservoir that provides up to 45 seconds of constant powerful water jets.
The rechargeable battery powers the water flosser for one week of typical use, with a four-hour rapid magnetic charger meaning you should always be able to stay on top of your routine.

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Image: amazon

The Good

Two-week battery life on a full charge • Air and micro-droplet technology • Customisation

The Bad

Door to the reservoir can be tough to open

The Bottom Line

Powerful water flosser packed with advanced features that help to remove plaque.

Philips Sonicare AirFloss Ultra

This water flosser is packed with advanced features, including air and micro-droplet technology that helps remove plaque in hard-to-reach areas.

The Philips Sonicare AirFloss Ultra water flosser can be used with mouthwash or water and features clever air and micro-droplet technology that helps remove plaque in hard-to-reach places.
It only takes 60 seconds to clean your whole mouth with this water flosser, and you have the option to select your burst frequency. You simply need to hold down the activation button for continuous automatic bursts or press and release for manual burst mode. 
The powerful spray can also be customised to match whatever your preference is, with single, double, or triple bursts available to you.

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Image: amazon

The Good

Cordless • Two nozzles • Six cleaning modes • Oxyjet technology

The Bad

Reviews are mixed

The Bottom Line

Personalise and customise your clean with this water flosser from a respected oral hygiene brand.

Oral-B Aquacare 6

This water flosser has an on-demand button and six cleaning modes that help you control and personalise your clean.

Oral-B is probably the biggest name in the oral hygiene game, and the Oral-B Aquacare 6 Pro-Expert water flosser is one of the best devices on the market.
This popular model uses oxyjet technology to enrich the water with microfine bubbles of air that boosts your oral health routine. You can also personalise your experience with six cleaning modes and three intensity settings: sensitive, medium, and intense. Every setting can be used with two nozzle water streams.
When it comes to customisation and precision, it’s tough to beat this water flosser.

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Image: amazon

The Good

Four water jet modes • Enriched with oxygen • Tank is removable • Powerful

The Bad

Tank could be bigger

The Bottom Line

This powerful water flosser offers everything you need to blast away plaque.

Panasonic EW1411

This water flosser features a powerful water jet that effectively removes bacteria and food residues caught between the teeth.

The Panasonic EW1411 oral irrigator is all about power, with a second pump that enriches the water with extra oxygen. It also features the option of choosing between a powerful water jet and a gentle air-water mixture.
The EW1411’s water tank is removable, meaning you can easily rinse it with warm water without making a mess. A full tank of water provides about 35 seconds of use between re-filling.
You get the choice of four water jet modes so can always find the perfect pressure for the job.

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Image: amazon

The Good

Four nozzles • Three cleaning modes • Large water tank • Cheap • Lightweight

The Bad

Noisy • Can get messy

The Bottom Line

Impressive water flosser proves that you don’t need to spend big to get the best.

Hangsun HOC700

This cheap water flosser offers three cleaning modes, four replaceable nozzles, and a bunch of other clever features.

The Hangsun HOC700 water flosser offers a wide range of clever features for a fraction of the price of the other devices in this roundup.
It uses a combination of water pressure and pulsations to clean deeply between your teeth and below the gum line, with three modes and four nozzles that let you customise your clean.
This water flosser is rechargeable, and can be fully charged in four hours with your computer, power adapter, power bank, or even car charger. 

‘Security expert’ John McAfee expertly plotted alleged crimes over Twitter DMs

Self-described “leading digital security expert” John McAfee appears to have made the age-old mistake of believing his Twitter direct messages were private. 

Currently in a Spanish prison, awaiting extradition to the U.S. on charges of tax evasion, the renowned cryptocurrency shill was charged Friday by the U.S. Department of Justice with the additional charges of fraud and money laundering. Working against the noted bath salts fan is the fact that, as detailed in the accompanying complaint, the FBI got ahold of McAfee’s unencrypted Twitter DMs in which he discussed, in detail, his various schemes. 

At the heart of Friday’s charges are two allegations. First, that McAfee engaged in multiple pump and dump schemes to drive up the price of specific altcoins and cryptocurrency tokens — without first revealing that he owned them, and in some cases outright denying that he did — in order to sell  at an inflated price. Second, McAfee is accused of promoting initial coin offerings without disclosing that he was being paid to do so by the companies in question. 

(Something similar tripped up Steven Seagal in Feb. of 2020.)

According to the DOJ complaint, McAfee’s preferred pumping method of choice was Twitter – which brings us back to his direct messages. 

Unlike, say, with the messaging app Signal, messages sent via Twitter direct message are not end-to-end encrypted. This means that, as we saw with 2020’s Twitter hack, hackers, Twitter employees, and law enforcement officers with a warrant to do so can all access the content of those messages. 

Which, if you’re the “world’s leading security expert” like McAfee and using Twitter as an integral part of your (allegedly) criminal scheme, might be worth keeping in mind. And yet. 

The complaint relies on, at multiple points, McAfee’s own words — as etched in “private direct messages (‘DMs’) sent to or from MCAFEE’s verified Twitter account” — to build its case against him. 

From my review of DM communications recovered from the Official McAfee Twitter  Account, I have learned that on or about December 17, 2017, the founder of Issuer-1 sent MCAFEE a DM asking MCAFEE to promote ICO-1 so that ICO-1 was not lost ‘in the ocean of ICOs[.]’ MCAFEE responded that he would agree to promote ICO-1 by ‘tweet[ing] [a] reasonable numbers of tweets, which have a huge impact on the Cryptocurrency market’ in  exchange for substantial compensation.   

Many of McAfee’s tweets referenced in the complaint are still visible on Twitter. 

While McAfee’s apparent willingness to blithely chat about (alleged) crime over direct message, combined with his self-purported security prowess, may seem like a comical contradiction, it points at a larger problem. Namely, the security of Twitter direct messages. 

In July, following the major Twitter hack that saw the accounts of Elon Musk, Joe Biden, and Barack Obama pushing bitcoin scams, the Electronic Frontier Foundation laid out why Twitter’s failure to end-to-end encrypt direct messages is such a monumental problem for all kinds of Twitter users — not just would-be crypto kings.  

SEE ALSO: Someone paid $2.6 million in fees to move $134 worth of crypto and oops

“Twitter direct messages (or DMs), some of the most sensitive user data on the platform, are vulnerable to this week’s kind of internal compromise,” wrote the EFF. “That’s because they are not end-to-end encrypted, so Twitter itself has access to them. That means Twitter can hand them over in response to law enforcement requests, they can be leaked, and — in the case of this week’s attack — internal access can be abused by malicious hackers and Twitter employees themselves.”

The “world’s leading security expert,” it would seem, could learn a thing or two from the EFF blog.  

Chinese Hacking Spree Hit an ‘Astronomical’ Number of Victims

When news hit earlier this week that Chinese hackers were actively targeting Microsoft Exchange servers, the cybersecurity community warned that the zero-day vulnerabilities they were exploiting might have allowed them to hit countless organizations around the world. Now it’s becoming clear just many email servers they hacked. By all appearances, the group known as Hafnium breached as many victims they could find across the global internet, leaving behind backdoors to return to later.

Hafnium has now exploited zero-day vulnerabilities in Microsoft’s Exchange servers’ Outlook Web Access to indiscriminately compromise no fewer than tens of thousands of email servers, according to sources with knowledge of the investigation into the hacking campaign who spoke to WIRED. The intrusions, first spotted by security firm Volexity, began as early as January 6, with a noticeable uptick starting last Friday and spiking early this week. The hackers appear to have responded to Microsoft’s patch, released Tuesday, by ramping up and automating their hacking campaign. One security researcher involved in the investigation who spoke to WIRED on the condition of anonymity put the number of hacked Exchange servers at more than 30,000 in the US alone, and hundreds of thousands worldwide, all apparently by the same group. Independent cybersecurity journalist Brian Krebs first reported that 30,000 figure Friday, citing sources who had briefed national security officials.

“It’s massive. Absolutely massive,” one former national security official with knowledge of the investigation told WIRED. “We’re talking thousands of servers compromised per hour, globally.”

In a press conference Friday afternoon, White House press secretary Jen Psaki warned anyone running the affected Exchange servers to implement Microsoft’s patch for the vulnerabilities immediately. “We are concerned that there are a large number of victims and are working with our partners to understand the scope of this,” Psaki said in a rare instance of a White House press secretary commenting on specific cybersecurity vulnerabilities. “Network owners also need to consider whether they have already been compromised and should immediately take appropriate steps.” That White House advice echoed a tweet from former Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency director Chris Krebs on Thursday night advising anyone with an exposed Exchange server to “assume compromise” and begin incident response measures to remove the hackers’ access.

The affected networks, which likely include those of small and medium-size organizations more than the large enterprises that tend to use cloud-based email systems, appear to have been hacked indiscriminately via automated scanning. The hackers planted a “web shell”—a remotely accessible, web-based backdoor foothold—on the Exchange servers they exploited, allowing them to perform reconnaissance on the target machines and potentially move to other computers on the network.

That means only a small number of the hundreds of thousands of hacked servers around the world are likely to be actively targeted by the Chinese hackers, says Volexity founder Steven Adair. Nonetheless, any organization that doesn’t take pains to remove the hackers’ backdoor remains compromised, and the hackers could reenter their networks to steal data or cause mayhem until that web shell is removed. “A massive, massive number of organizations are getting that initial foothold,” says Adair. “It’s a ticking time bomb that can be used against them at any point in time.”

Though the vast majority of intrusions appear to have consisted only of those web shells, the “astronomical” scale of those global compromises is uniquely disturbing, one security researcher who participated in the investigation told WIRED. The small to medium-size organizations that were compromised include local government agencies, police, hospitals, Covid response, energy, transportation, airports, and prisons. “China just owned the world—or at least everyone with Outlook Web Access,” the researcher said. “When was the last time someone was so bold as to just hit everyone?”

In fact, the last such mass intrusion campaign came to light in just December, with the revelation that Russian hackers had compromised IT management tools from Solar Winds’ used by 18,000 organizations. That hacking campaign successfully breached at least half a dozen US federal agencies. The Hafnium Exchange hacking campaign now represents the second hacking campaign of that scale, just a few months later.

The Chinese hackers Exchange exploitation spree appears to have begun only months ago, in contrast to the Russia’s silent, year-plus SolarWinds espionage campaign. And Hafnium’s victim list appears more limited to small- and medium-sized organizations, whereas the SolarWinds hit large US government agencies.

But as with the Russian SolarWinds hackers, investigators have yet to identify who exactly the Hafnium hackers are—beyond Microsoft’s assertion that they’re state-sponsored and operate out of China—or to pin down the full extent of their motivations. “I don’t understand what the strategic objective of maintaining persistence on a local government agency would be for the MSS,” says the former national security official, referring to China’s Ministry of State Security. “Is this a contractor or a proxy group? Is it a Chinese cybercriminal group? Is it a rogue actor in China that got out ahead of itself?”

While the hacking campaign may be aimed at casting a wide net before filtering targets for espionage, the security researcher who spoke to WIRED warned that it may yet have disruptive effects. “If they push ransomware to this, we’re going to have the worst day ever,” he says.

But unlike the SolarWinds incident, the researcher points out, the Exchange-hacking campaign was caught early—or at least early in its widespread use. As daunting as the task of cleaning up the hackers’ tens of thousands of infections may be, that early detection may give victims a chance to both patch their systems and remove the hackers before they can take advantage of their foothold inside organizations. “If we had a chance to prevent a SolarWinds-scale thing that went on for months, wouldn’t we want to act on it?” asks the researcher. “Now we have that chance if we act fast.”


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McAfee Is Indicted for Altcoin Pump-and-Dumps and ICO Schemes

On the evening of December 20, 2017, the controversial cybersecurity pioneer John McAfee tweeted that he would embark on something of an educational blitz. “Beginning tomorrow, I will each day talk about a unique altcoin,” McAfee wrote. “Most of the 2,000 coins are trash or scams. I’ve read every white paper. The few I’m connected to I will tell you. The rest I have no position in.” It’s that last bit that caught the attention of the Department of Justice.

On Friday the US Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York indicted McAfee and executive assistant Jimmy Watson on multiple charges that encompass two alleged cryptocurrency schemes. (McAfee was previously indicted in October for separate tax evasion charges.) According to court documents, McAfee and his associates raked in a combined $13 million between the two efforts, both of which relied on using McAfee’s popular Twitter account to push niche cryptocurrencies or promote initial coin offerings without disclosing that he stood to profit, either through investment gains or promotional fees.

“As alleged, McAfee and Watson exploited a widely used social media platform and enthusiasm among investors in the emerging cryptocurrency market to make millions through lies and deception,” said Manhattan US attorney Audrey Strauss in a press release. “The defendants allegedly used McAfee’s Twitter account to publish messages to hundreds of thousands of his Twitter followers touting various cryptocurrencies through false and misleading statements to conceal their true, self-interested motives.”

Pump You Up

The altcoin talks that McAfee promoted were one alleged leg of that deception. In mid-December 2017, he allegedly directed an associate to buy around $5,000 worth of tokens in XVG, also known as Verge. That same day on Twitter, McAfee described XVG—along with more established tokens like Monero and Zcash—as a coin that “cannot lose.” Two days later, when a Twitter user suggested McAfee had “pumped” XVG, artificially inflating its value in order to sell high, McAfee responded with indignation. “I own no XVG,” he wrote. “I live [sic] how you shallow folks cannot distinguish between someone who shamelessly speaks his mind—because it’s true—and someone with an ulterior motive. You know absolutely nothing about me if you believe I have the time to waste spewing garbage.”

XVR spiked 500 percent in the four days after McAfee’s initial tweet. McAfee, prosecutors say, sold near the top, turning a tidy $30,000 profit.

That success appears to have inspired what McAfee would call his “Coin of the Week” series. The same day he announced his journey into “unique altcoins” on Twitter, McAfee allegedly instructed an associate to put $100,000 of bitcoin into Electroneum tokens. On December 21, 2017, he tweeted a glowing, bulleted report on ETN, including an assertion that he had “more than one DM calling Electroneum the holy grail of cryptocurrency.” (It’s quite a contrast to what McAfee had tweeted just one week earlier, on December 15: “I personally find nothing about Electroneum that I would like to talk about. Not that it’s bad, just not special to me.”) He again claimed that he owned none.

Electoneum jumped 40 percent that day. McAfee’s associate cashed out at a profit, prosecutors say.

Court documents allege a lather, rinse, repeat of that basic scheme played out through January 28 of the following year. McAfee would instruct his associate to purchase “hundreds of thousands or even millions of tokens” in that week’s featured altcoin less than 10 days before featuring it. McAfee would extol the virtues of BURST, DGB, RDD, HMQ, TRX, FCT, DOGE, XLM, SYS, and RCN. His associate, prosectors say, would close the position soon after to profit from the usual bump. In all, they allegedly pocketed $2 million from the pump-and-dump scheme, including hundreds of thousands from Dogecoin alone.

According to an unsealed criminal complaint, around the time they began accumulating Dogecoin tokens, an unnamed co-conspirator Googled “regulatory laws trading cryptocurrency.” Several months later, in July, that same co-conspirator allegedly conducted searches for “bad actor definition” and “fraudster defined.”

ICO No

During roughly this same stretch of time, McAfee and his associates also used Twitter to promote seven initial coin offerings, a fundraising mechanism for new cryptocurrencies. The alleged impropriety is straightforward here as well; prosecutors say that McAfee and his “team members” were paid a combined $11 million in ethereum and bitcoin, along with a chunk of altcoins, to plug those ICOs on Twitter.

The first of these came on December 20, 2017, when McAfee told his Twitter followers that Sether, which had just launched, was “a world changing coin and a world changing concept.” A follower asked him if he was paid to promote ICOs in that manner; McAfee replied that he was not. In truth, prosecutors say, he had exchanged direct messages in the preceding days in which he secured a payment for Team McAfee of 30 percent of the total funds raised in the ICO, along with a “substantial percentage” of the tokens that would be issued to the public. That deal alone, court documents say, resulted in a payout of $6 million in ethereum and bitcoin, plus ICO tokens that were worth millions of dollars at the time.

Similar arrangements over the following months allegedly brought in at least another $5 million for McAfee and his associates. The ICO indictment echoes charges that the SEC brought against McAfee in October of last year.

In this new indictment, McAfee and Watson face seven counts: conspiracy to commit commodities and securities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities and touting fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and two counts each of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and substantive wire fraud. Watson was arrested Thursday night in Texas, officials said.

McAfee has been detained in Spain since last fall; his extradition remains pending. Friday’s allegations are just the latest in a long string of legal issues for the antivirus entrepreneur. A 2012 WIRED feature detailed McAfee’s run-ins with authorities in Belize, who raided his home on suspicions of drug manufacturing and would later name him as a “person of interest” in the murder of a neighbor, Gregory Faull. McAfee hid out in Guatemala until a reporter inadvertently revealed his whereabouts in the metadata of a published photograph. He was arrested on immigration charges, denied asylum, and sent back to the United States.

In the years since, McAfee fashioned himself into a cryptocurrency guru, particularly over his eccentric and at times unhinged Twitter account. He infamously pledged in 2017 that he would “eat [his] dick on national television” if the value of one bitcoin did not hit $500,000 by July 2020. (It didn’t; he didn’t.) The 75-year-old now faces up to 80 years in prison from this round of charges alone, suggesting a life spent recently on the run may have finally hit the brakes.


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