Renowned 'White Hat' Hacker Dead

Barnaby Jack was going to demonstrate how to attack heart devices from afar
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 26, 2013 1:15 PM CDT
Updated Jul 26, 2013 1:35 PM CDT

One of the hacking community's biggest names has died in San Francisco, reports Reuters. Barnaby Jack, thought to be in his mid-30s, was known as a "white hat hacker" because he focused on exposing security flaws in banking and medical devices that needed fixing, notes CRN. And he was about to demonstrate his biggest discovery yet—that he could hack into implanted heart devices from afar. "I'm sure there could be lethal consequences," he told Reuters in advance of this weekend's Black Hat convention in Vegas. It's not clear how Jack died.

He had previously shown that insulin pumps were vulnerable to hacks, but his most attention-getting stunt occurred at the Vegas convention of 2010 when he caused two ATM machines on stage to spit out cash. He called it "Jackpotting," notes the Chicago Tribune. He worked for Internet security firm IOActive, which tweeted, "Lost but never forgotten our beloved pirate, Barnaby Jack has passed." (Read more hacker stories.)

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