[QODLink]
Americas

Famed US hacker Barnaby Jack dies at 35

The man who could make ATMs spit out cash was set to deliver a talk about hacking pacemakers next week in Las Vegas.

Last Modified: 26 Jul 2013 19:06
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Jack received standing ovations at hacking conventions for his creativity and showmanship [AP]

Barnaby Jack, a celebrated computer hacker who could force a bank ATM to spit out cash and sparked safety improvements in medical devices, has died in San Francisco, The San Francisco Medical Examiner's Office said.

San Francisco Deputy Coroner Kris Barbrich said Barnaby Jack died on Thursday and said the Medical Examiner's Office was still investigating the cause of death.

Jack, who was in his mid-30s, was due to appear at the Black Hat hacking convention in Las Vegas next week, demonstrating techniques for remotely attacking implanted heart devices. 

His genius was finding bugs in the tiny computers embedded in equipment such as medical devices and banking machines.

He received standing ovations at hacking conventions for his creativity and showmanship.

He became one of the most famous hackers on the planet after a 2010 demonstration of "Jackpotting" - getting ATMs to spew out bills.

The hacking community expressed shock as the news of his death spread via Twitter early on Friday.

"Wow ... Speechless," Tweeted mobile phone hacker Tyler Shields.

Jack's most recent employer, the cyber security consulting firm IOActive Inc, said in a Tweet: "Lost but never forgotten our beloved pirate, Barnaby Jack has passed."

Jack had served as IOActive's director of embedded device security.

Attacked insulin pumps

Jack's attacks on ATMs brought him the most attention, but his work on medical devices may have a much broader impact.

Two years ago, while working at McAfee, he engineered methods for attacking insulin pumps that prompted medical device maker Medtronic Inc to bring in outside security firms and revamp the way it designs its products.

He followed that up with work on heart devices that he was due to present at Black Hat next week.

Jack told Reuters news agency in an interview last week that he had devised a way to attack heart patients by hacking into a wireless communications system that links implanted pacemakers and defibrillators with bedside monitors that gather information about their operations.

"I'm sure there could be lethal consequences," he said.

He declined to name the manufacturer of the device, but said he was working with that company to figure out how to prevent malicious attacks on heart patients.

364

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
Referendum on Scottish independence is the first major election in the UK where 16 and 17-year olds get a vote.
Blogger critical of a lack of government transparency faces defamation lawsuit from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Farmers worry about their future as buyers shun local produce and rivers show an elevated presence of heavy metals.
War-torn neighbour is an uncertain haven for refugees fleeing Pakistan's Balochistan, where locals seek independence.
NSA whistleblower Snowden and journalist Greenwald accuse Wellington of mass spying on New Zealanders.
join our mailing list